Karnataka Assembly Winter Session Starts With 10% Attendance; Parliament’s May Get Postponed
November 14th, 2017
The winter session on Monday got an embarrassing start for the ruling party with speaker KB Koliwad adjourning the legislative assembly briefly for the want of quorum, said a report by the Deccan Herald. As soon as Koliwad entered the House on the opening day of the winter assembly, he adjourned the house saying, “It is unfortunate that there are no sufficient members. I adjourn the House till there is the quorum.”
According to the rules and procedure of the Assembly, at least one-tenth of the members should be present for proceeding with official business. To proceed with the business, a minimum presence of 23 members out of the 225 members was requisite. Koliwad’s decision also took the treasury benched by surprise, much to the amusement of the Opposition.
Stormy start to the winter session in Karnataka Assembly
On Monday morning, the Assembly met at 11 AM in the morning with only 20 members out of the 225 MLAs. Only 11 cabinet ministers were present out of total 28 members. The CM, Siddaramaiah and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly came in late, at around 11.45 AM.
Several BJP leaders including state President BS Yeddyurappa took part in the Parivarthana rally in Kundapura. Whereas, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee leaders and President Dr G Parameshawara went to attend a bike rally in Tumkur.
Speaker KB Koliwad announced that the Assembly will only hold its proceedings only after the 10% quorum was met, that is only after 24 MLAs were present in the House during the commencement of the session. He said, “It is unfortunate that there are no sufficient members. I adjourn the house till there is the quorum.”
BJP Members S Suresh Kumar said, “The speaker has a lot of anger against the government, perhaps hinting at the state government cutting grants for the diamond jubilee celebration of the Vidhana Soudha from the proposed Rs 27 crore submitted by the Legislature Secretariat to Rs 10 crore”. Energy Minister of Karnataka D K Shivakumar wondered aloud why the Speaker had not checked the requisite number of MLAs before switching off the quorum bell.
The House, however, met after the quorum was met, but however, the attendance continued to be poor. The count had increased to 48 at around 12 PM but this number fell as the BJP-led opposition decided to boycott the session and walked out of the Assembly. The Opposition said that they will continue the boycott till Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and Energy Minister DK Shivakumar resigned from their ministerial posts.
According to a report by the Newsminute, Jagadish Shettar, “The CBI has named KJ George in the FIR related to the death of Deputy SP Ganapathi. When the SIT was probing the case, he had resigned. We demand that he resigns now as well. We all know how many crores of illegal assets DK Shivakumar holds after the IT raids. We demand that these ministers resign. Until then the BJP will boycott the Assembly session.”
Delay in winter session of Parliament
The upcoming winter sessions of Parliament is likely to be delayed and there are high chances that the sessions will be shorter than usual. Last year, the month-long winter session commenced in both the house with 22 sittings of both Houses.
The final decision about the winter session will be taken by the Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs in a meeting which would be held this week. Senior leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said this session could happen in December because most politicians are busy with the ongoing elections in Gujarat.
According to a report by the Livemint, a senior leader said, “There is no clarity on the dates till now. It seems the situation will become clear once PM Modi returns from his three-day visit to the ASEAN-India and the East Asia summits. As of now, it seems that the winter session would get pushed to December and it would not start in November.”
A large number of politicians, including the PM and many senior leaders of the Congress would be busy in the election campaign at Gujarat. This will adversely affect the winter session of the Parliament. 37 MPs from Gujarat (26 from the Lower House and 11 from the Upper House) would be involved in the campaigns. Thus, it is in view that the winter session of the Parliament should be postponed and that it should have shorter sittings.
Congress along with several other parties in opposition are planning to corner the government on issues such as demonetisation, alleged problems in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and recent allegation of corruption against Jay Shah, son of BJP President Amit Shah.
Former Union Minister Manish Tiwari, on the other hand, opposed to any move to delay the winter sessions of the Parliament. According to a report by the Livemint, Bidyut Chakraborty, A New Delhi based political analyst and political science professor at the Delhi University said, “It is evident that the winter session is getting delayed because of Gujarat elections. But I do not see this is a substantial reason to delay an entire session. It would have been better if the session had started as per the norm because political parties and people will question why an entire session was delayed.”
The Logical Indian take
MPs and MLAs are elected by the mass of a country as their representative in the government. They are elected by the public to address their grievances and put forth the hardships faced by the masses in the parliament or the legislative assemblies.
Their callousness in attending sessions at the Assembly proves their lack of diligence in the work they have been elected to do. The attendance at the Karnataka Assembly reflects their inability to carry out their duties. The session had to be adjourned owing to the presence of less than 10% of MLAs in the House.
Whereas at the Parliament, an entire session is being planned to be postponed owing to the fact that the MPs will remain busy campaigning for the upcoming state elections. This reflects that their priorities are entirely misplaced. Their priority doesn’t lie with the country and carrying out their duties as the member of MP at best. Their priorities lie in campaigning for elections and winning them.
The Logical Indian community urges the members of the Assembly and the Parliament to set their priorities and ensure that they do their duties as members elected by the people first and later attend to winning elections.