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Congress, govt trade charges over Karnataka, Opposition stages walkout in LS

ANI | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 15:29 IST

New Delhi [India], July 10 (ANI): The Congress, Trinamool Congress and several other Opposition parties staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha on Wednesday accusing the BJP of engaging in "conspiracy" and "horse-trading" to topple the ruling Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi rubbished the allegations and said the MLAs had resigned following resignation of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that there was "martial law" in Maharashtra and that Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar who had gone to Mumbai in an apparent effort to meet rebel party MLAs was surrounded by police and his hotel booking was cancelled.
Joshi countered the allegations saying Congress MLAs had written to Mumbai Police Commissioner that they faced "threat" from Shivakumar and security had been provided to them.
The political crisis in Karnataka figured for the third successive day in the Lok Sabha with Congress members again resorting to sloganeering and coming to the well of the House to lodge their protest. A party member was also holding a placard.
The Congress protest drew wider support with Trinamool Congress and some other parties.
Chowdhury sought to raise the issue after Question Hour but Speaker Om Birla told him that the issue had been raised over the past two days. However, Congress members persisted with their demand. They later went to the well of the House and started raising slogans.
The Speaker asked them to return to their seats and again told Chowdhury that the issue had been raised earlier and the members should give a good message.
However, Chowdhury said he was raising a different issue. "Today the issue pertains to Maharashtra where martial law has started," he alleged.
He said Shivakumar had booked a hotel in Mumbai but after he stepped out his vehicle, he was surrounded by police and told that he cannot go inside.
"The hotel owner told him that his booking had been cancelled. What does it mean," he asked.
He alleged that MLAs had been taken to Mumbai under pressure.
"There is horse-trading of elected MLAs. This dirty conspiracy should end, a mockery of democracy is being made," he said.
After Joshi began to speak, Congress and other Opposition members staged a walkout.
Joshi said some Congress MLAs, who have resigned from Congress might have gone to Mumbai as their resignations were not being accepted.
"They have written to Mumbai Commissioner, written that there is threat from DK Shivakumar, do not allow him. They can't control their MLAs. As Rajnath Singhji said, Rahul Gandhiji started the process of resignations."
"Mumbai Police Commissioner is giving security to MLAs and hotel after a written complaint. What is wrong in that," he said. (ANI)