BJP MLA questions Speaker’s TV camera ban during Assembly sessions


Karnataka BJP MLA and a former central minister Basangouda Patil Yatnal, who was recently issued a show-cause notice by his own party, has now spoken up against the Karnataka Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri’s decision to ban TV channels from video-graphing the proceedings of the Assembly.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the MLA said, “The work that we (legislators) do in the Assembly and the way MLAs behave in this assembly should be known to the public. I do not know why such a decision has been taken.”

He added, “I will certainly speak about this with the Speaker tomorrow and ask him why he has taken this decision. I will request the Speaker that the conduct of the debates be seen by the people of the state.”

The party’s member secretary of the disciplinary committee on Friday had pulled up the Yatnal MLA for his public statements criticising the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Yatnal had, on October 2, told the media said that the party was not taking the issue of carrying out relief and rehabilitation works in the state seriously.

“This is beyond politics. This is about the emotions of the people. Even after the state suffered devastating floods, Modi didn’t tweet for us, but he did for the people of Bihar. People will ask if Modi tweeted for Bihar just because elections are approaching there. Is this what people get for voting the BJP? The party should take it seriously. Or else, it will lose its ground in south India,” he had said.

He added, “BJP has 25 MPs from Karnataka. They should speak up. It is their duty to protect people’s interests. The country is above the party, then comes our state, then our people, the party comes last. We as individuals come after that. The MPs should bring it to the Prime Minister’s notice. The Prime Minister should also take it seriously. Otherwise, it sends a wrong message to the people of Karnataka.”

However, the showcase notice does not seem to have stopped Yatnal from speaking his mind. On Wednesday, too, he made a veiled barb at a section of his party colleagues.

He said, “If you don’t want him (Yediyurappa as CM), call him, tell him that you are now 77-years-old which is against our party’s policy (to continue in electoral politics), take his resignation and select a new leader. Instead of doing this, you (central leaders) block the relief funds and encourage those who are Yediyurappa’s opponents.”

Without taking any names, he added, “You want one more month to go like this (without adequate flood relief from the Centre) and later remove Yediyurappa. This is your conspiracy.”

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