Congress wants K'taka Assembly session extended by a week

South India

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dk Shivakumar accused the BJP of trying to curtail democracy. under the excuse of Covid.

Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar on Monday said that the ongoing Assembly session in the state needs to be extended by a week even as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa continued his efforts to curtail the session on account of Covid-19 pandemic.

The eight-day monsoon session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly got underway on Monday, September 21.

Speaking to the media, Shivakumar said, "We want to the Assembly session extended by a week. They (ruling party) want to curtail it."

Speaking about why the assembly session should be extended, Shivakumar said, "About 30 bills have been tabled in the state assembly this time. In them, there are a lot of Ordinances which are against the sentiments of the state."

"This time 1,600 questions have been put before the Karnataka Assembly by Congress members. They are supposed to answer them. There are a lot of issues to be discussed, among them are issues of corruption, failure in handling COVID-19, GST and rain causing havoc," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

The state government is slated to amend the Industries Facilitation Act, and also introduce the Land Reforms Bill 2020. In June this year, the state government amended the Land Reforms Act to allow any individual to buy agricultural land. In addition, a new bill is slated to be tabled in the Assembly.

"If opposition does not question, they will quietly pass these bills. We want debates, we want the government to answer questions," Dk Shivakumar said adding that the BJP wants to curtail democracy. “Under the excuse of Covid, it’s trying to escape from debates on major issues. We won’t allow them to succeed,” said Shivakumar.

The chief minister has been continuing consultations with opposition leaders to trim the session to three days saying that the session cannot be held properly as many legislators are absent. He spoke to Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar of the Congress, and HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) in this regard.

"Around 50 to 60 MLAs (members of legislative assembly) are unable to attend as many are in quarantine and there are myriad other reasons why they cannot attend in the wake of COVID-19. It is not safe to hold these sessions. The Business advisory committee will discuss whether the session should be cut short," Yediyurappa told reporters outside Vidhana Soudha on Monday.

At least 10 ministers, including deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan and home minister Basavaraj Bommai, will skip the session on Covid grounds (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: News Indian Express

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