Opposition forces governor to abandon speech, Yeddyurappa cries foul


Bangalore : Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Thursday abandoned his address to the state legislature just after half a sentence as the opposition created a ruckus demanding Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s resignation over land scams.

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“Do not read the pack of lies of this corrupt government,” the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) members shouted in chorus as Bhardwaj began the address that marks the beginning of the year’s legislative business.

After reading a few words – “Honourable members, my government” – Bhardwaj consulted the presiding officers of the assembly and legislative council flanking him and said he was placing the speech on the table of the house and sat down.

Yeddyurappa, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s first chief minister in south India is battling charges of favouring kin with prime land in and around Bangalore.

This was the first time in Karnataka’s history that a governor did not read through the speech. On several occasions in the past, governors had run through the speech listing government’s achievements and plans even as members kept up shouting.

The whole proceedings lasted about five minutes.

Yeddyurappa lashed out at the opposition for not allowing the Governor to read the 28-page speech prepared by his cabinet.

“They have not learnt any lesson from their poor show in the just concluded panchayat polls,” he said referring to zila (district) and taluka (sub-district) panchayat elections held on Dec 26, 31 and Jan 1.

The BJP emerged the single largest party winning 12 of the 30 ZPs and 68 of the 176 TPs. The Congress and JD-S took four ZPs each and 31 and 29 TPs respectively.

“People will not forgive these parties if they continue to obstruct legislative business,” Yeddyurappa said.

The JD-S has announced it would not allow the ten-day session to conduct any business until Yeddyurappa quits. The Congress has said it will intensify the agitation in the two houses for the chief minister’s resignation.

The two parties justified their preventing the governor from completing the speech.

“Our action was not against the governor. It was against this corrupt government which was making the governor read out lies,” assembly leaders of the two parties, Siddaramaiah of Congress and H. D. Revanna of JD-S told reporters after the session was adjourned till Friday.

The two asserted that there will not be any let up in their demand for Yeddyurappa’s resignation. “We will continues to raise this demand in the two houses,” they said.