A Congress MLA was on Thursday suspended from the Karnataka Assembly till March 12 for his ‘indecent’ and ‘disrespectful’ conduct of removing his shirt inside the House during a protest by his party.
After Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri took strong exception to the conduct of B K Sangamesh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai moved a motion to suspend him, which was adopted by a voice vote.
The incident occurred as Congress members were protesting from the well of the House against a discussion on ‘One Nation, One Election’ initiated by the Speaker.
Sagamesh, who was just next to the Speaker’s podium, removed his shirt and put it on his shoulder while shouting slogans.
Kageri, who noticed it from the Chair, reacted sharply. “What are you doing….Siddaramaiah (Leader of Opposition) your party ruled for long, look at the way your members are conducting, is this the way to behave? this will not bring respect to anyone. This kind of indiscipline cannot be tolerated,” he said, warning to send the MLA out.
At this point, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar and other party colleagues prodded Sangamesh to wear the shirt back and helped him in the process. Warning action against Sangamesh, Speaker instructed him to behave properly, and said his conduct was disrespectful to the people of Bhadravathi, the constituency he represents.
“Is this the way to behave? …are you on the streets? Has the House become a joke for you? if you oppose something, express it from your place, your conduct is disrespectful and
irresponsible,” he said, and adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
As the House reassembled, the Speaker initiated the process for action against Sangamesh and named him, saying he cannot tolerate such conduct.
Following this Bommai moved the motion to suspend the MLA till March 12 with immediate effect, despite Congress members objecting to it.
Siddaramaiah termed the suspension “unilateral”, and said, “Put all of us also outside.” Later speaking to reporters outside the assembly, Sangamesh sought to defend his action, saying he did it as he was not getting justice. “What else should I do, if I don’t get justice? I have not done wrong things like goondaism…..I will go and ask why I was suspended,” he said.
The MLA also said he had given a letter to the Speaker regarding “false atrocity” and “attempt to murder” cases booked against him and family members, but did not get any response. He claimed the cases were politically motivated as the BJP was ‘unable’ to defeat him in Bhadravathi. PTI