(Rpting with correction of figures in the last para)

BJP ignores Opposition protest; pushes through business

Bangalore, Jan 11 (PTI) Ignoring dharna by the oppositionfor the second day today, ruling BJP had its way in ensuringconduct of official business in the Assembly and "unanimous"election of its nominee N Yogish Bhat as Deputy Speaker.

Shouting slogans, demanding debate on alleged land scamsand corruption under adjournment motion, Congress and JDSmembers refused to call off their protest, insisting that thegovernment yield to their plea.

Brushing aside their noisy protest with oppositionmembers raising slogans like "BJP has looted thousands ofcrores of rupees", government pleaded with Speaker K G Bopaiahto conduct the official business, which he obliged.

Amid the din, the House went through motion of laying ofwritten answers, laying of papers on the table of the Houseand reports of various legislature committees.

The House also saw election of Bhat as Deputy Speakerwith the motion proposing his name for the post being carriedby voice vote. The Speaker rejected opposition pleas topostpone it till the courts give verdicts on disqualificationof 11 BJP rebel MLAs and five independents, who had withdrawnsupport to the government.

The opposition launched a dharna yesterday stallingproceedings for the entire day demanding a discussion underadjournment motion on corruption charges against governmentand also resignation of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah said holding of DeputySpeaker''s election at this stage, would amount to curbing therights of disqualified MLAs but it was rejected by government.

Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of giving a go by to thetradition of accepting opposition nominee to the DeputySpeaker''s post. Law Minister S Suresh Kumar,however, saidsince 1985 to 2004, no ruling party had followed thetradition.

Bopaiah said since the process for the election hasalready been initiated, it cannot be postponed and went aheadwith it.

After the election, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa andSiddaramaiah felicitated Bhat, four time MLA from MangaloreSouth constituency.

While the dharna continued, Yeddyurappa, who holds theFinance portfolio, also moved the supplementary estimates(second instalment) through which the government sought nodfor spending Rs 5060.41 crore rpt Rs 5060.41 crore. MORE PTIMSR BN RA

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