Congress MLAs led by the Karnataka Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah staged a protest outside the assembly after VD Savarkar’s portrait was unveiled inside Karnataka Assembly Hall on Monday. The first day of the Winter Session of the state assembly began today at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi.
Opposition leaders including former chief minister and the current Leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah, were among those who staged a demonstration and sat outside the assembly on the steps to protest the ruling Basavaraj Bommai government’s decision to unveil a portrait of Veer Savarkar in the assembly.
Siddaramaiah in a letter to the Speaker requested for the installation of portraits of personalities like Valmiki, Basavanna, Kanaka Dasa, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and others.
Karnataka Congress chief and MLA DK Shivakumar accused the state government of attempting to disrupt assembly proceedings through such steps. “They want that our Assembly proceedings should not take place. They want it disrupted. They have brought this photo because we are going to raise a lot of corruption issues against them. They don’t have any development agenda,” Shivakumar said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has hit out against the Opposition protests. “There must be ideological differences but Savarkar is a freedom fighter, then ask Siddaramaiah, whose poster must be put, of Dawood Ibrahim?,” Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said today in Delhi outside the Parliament.
During the 10-day Winter Session of the Karnataka Assembly the border row with neighbouring Maharashtra is likely to be brought up.
Meanwhile, In Nagpur outside the assembly, opposition Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) in Maharashtra chanted slogans targeting chief minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.