Belagavi (K’taka), Nov 14 (PTI) The Karnataka Legislative Assembly was today rocked by protests as the opposition BJP marched into the well of the House demanding resignation of state minister K J George, who has been booked by the CBI in a case relating to the death of a police official.
The second day of the winter session was marred by charges and counter-charges between treasury and opposition benches, with the BJP demanding George’s resignation until the CBI probe is completed.
The state government rejected the demand and accused the BJP of playing politics on the issue.
As Speaker K B Koliwad rejected the BJP’s adjournment notice on the ground that the matter was pending before the CBI and there was no failure on part of the government on the issue, BJP members marched into the well of the House, raising slogans seeking George’s resignation.
Hitting out at the BJP for disrupting the House, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah alleged that the party was using the issue for “propaganda.”
He alleged that the BJP was not interested in discussing issues of public interest.
Deputy SP Ganapathy (51) was found hanging from a ceiling fan in a room of a lodge in Madikeri in Kodagu district on July 7 last year, with the mystery surrounding it raising a huge controversy.
Prior to the alleged suicide, Ganapathy had, in an interview to a local TV channel said that the then Home Minister George and two senior police officers A M Prasad and Pranab Mohanty would be responsible “if anything happens to me.”
The minister had resigned soon after a court directed the police to register an FIR against him and the two police officers.
Karnataka CID, which investigated the case after the death of Ganapathy, had given a clean chit to George and the officers in closure report filed before a court in Madikeri.
After his name was cleared by the CID, George was re- inducted into the state Cabinet, but the Supreme Court, in September, ordered a CBI probe into the case and asked the probe agency to file a status report on the investigation within three months.
As the House met for the day today, Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar raised the issue and told the Speaker about his adjournment notice.
The speaker said he would allow preliminary submission only after the question hour.
Raising the issue after the question hour, Shettar said there was “suspicion” whether Ganapathy’s death was a murder or suicide.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra accused the BJP of raising the matter only for the “sake of politics” and said there were several issues that needed to be discussed on priority.
BJP legislator Suresh Kumar said, “It is a matter of public importance. If the issue is not allowed for discussion, then it will become a matter of private importance.” Jayachandra said as the matter was pending inquiry before the CBI, it should not be allowed for discussion.
Shettar said within two months after the CID clean chit to George, media reports claimed that the forensic laboratory report in the case exposed the “shoddy” investigation by the CID.
“By continuing as the minister, George may indulge in destruction of evidence and may influence… So, he should resign until CBI enquiry is completed,” he said.
As the Speaker started pronouncing his ruling rejecting the adjournment notice, BJP members walked into the well of the House raising slogans.
Following this, the House was adjourned till afternoon.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.