Speaker Expunges "Unparliamentary" Word Used By Senior Cong MLA
Karnataka assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Wednesday expunged a word used by senior Congress legislator K R Ramesh Kumar, terming it as "unparliamentary", as it created an uproar in the house, with ruling BJP taking a strong exception to it. After the Speaker's ruling, the MLA said he would abide by the decision of the chair.
- Last Updated: September 23, 2020, 19:40 IST
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Bengaluru: Karnataka assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Wednesday expunged a word used by senior Congress legislator K R Ramesh Kumar, terming it as “unparliamentary”, as it created an uproar in the house, with ruling BJP taking a strong exception to it. After the Speaker’s ruling, the MLA said he would abide by the decision of the chair.
It all began when Kumar intervened during Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar’s reply to the discussion on government’s ‘failure’ in handling the COVID-19 situation and ‘misappropriation’ in procurement of medical equipment and charged him with trying to justify and deny the purchase at a higher price. While doing so, Kumar, who was also a former Speaker, used a word that irked Sudhakar and BJP members.
Sudhakar asked Kumar to speak properly and mind his language, leading to an argument between the two. “Does he (Kumar) have any morality… we cannot accept this,”, he said.
Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said he did not expect such language from a senior member like Ramesh Kumar. Chaos prevailed for some time as a few Congress MLAs stood up in support of Kumar, leading to arguments.
Addressing the chair, Kumar he was ready to seek an apology if the word he used was unparliamentary and sought directions from the chair. “I did not have a better word to use in this context,” he said.”.
Sudhakar took exception to Kumar trying to justify his language instead of expressing regret and said this was the second time he was doing it and sought protection from the Chair During the assembly session in March too, both leaders had a face-off, as Kumar had used an expletive against Sudhakar, creating an uproar in the house. Minister Eshwarappa demanded that Kumar immediately apologise and take back his word.
“You (Kumar) are tying to defend usage of the word. Will you accept if the word is used against you? Such words are used by goondas, so apologise and withdraw it,” he said. Kumar, however stuck to his stand and said the Speaker has the discretion to decide whether any word used by a member is parliamentary or unparliamentary .
The Speaker can use his powers after going through the list of unparliamentary words, he said. Kageri said the word used by Ramesh Kumar was “not courteous language”, but that he would have to examine whether it was unparliamentary and added that he has already given instructions to officials in this regard.
Kumar said it was not a prestige issue for him and he was not justifying the word he used, nor adamant that it has to remain on record. “OK, I agree it’s a mistake by me, but what is your answer to misappropriation in procurement?,” he asked.
The Speaker while giving his ruling said he was not able to find out at a glance, the word used by Kumar, in the list of unparliamentary words, but there is a precedence of similar words being expunged by the Chair in the past. “…so I’m now including the word used (by Ramesh Kumar) in the list of unparliamentary words and expunging it from the record,” he ruled.
Kumar said he would abide by the ruling of the chair and apologised for the word he used.
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