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Governor's address: Oppn parties in K'taka stage walkout

By Staff
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Bangalore, Feb 24 (UNI) The Opposition parties in the Karnataka Legislature, led by the Congress, today staged a walkout in protest against Governor T N Chaturvedi address to the joint session, describing it as ''unconstitutional.' When the Governor got up to deliver his address, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly N Dharam Singh and other Congress members started shouting slogans terming Mr Chaturvedi's act as ''unconstitutional'' and ''incorrect.'' As Mr Chaturvedi went ahead with his address, the Congress members staged a walkout registering their protest. They were followed by Mr Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha) and Mr Srirama Reddy (Communist Party of India).

Later talking to reporters, Mr Singh said the Governor ''fully violated'' the provisions of the Constitution by choosing to address the House for the second time this year. His ''unconstitutional'' behaviour would be brought to the notice of the Centre, he added.

Stating that as per Article 176 of the Constitution the Governor could address a joint session only once a year or after the elections, he pointed out that Mr Chaturvedi had already addressed the joint session on January 19 last and the process was incomplete as the Congress-JD(S) government was dethroned before it could move the motion of thanks to his address.

Mr Singh said the Governor's address was ''unnecessary'' as the new JD (S)-BJP government, formed in a hurry, did not have the mandate of the people.

Former Speaker Ramesh Kumar wanted President A P J Abdul Kalam to to admonish the Governor for his act and recall him immediately.

He said the Governor behaved ''arrogantly,'' despite the opposition parties, led by the Congress, meeting him at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday last and requesting him not to address the joint session.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that Mr Chaturvedi had succumbed to the presssure from the JD (S)-BJP coalition government. ''The Governor's address has no constitutional validity and we found it is meaningless to take part in such a proceeding and hence staged a walk out,'' he said.

Calling the Governor a 'party agent,' Mr Sriram Reddy said he had brought disrespect to the post of the Governor by ''violating the provisions of the Constitution.'' UNI SIV RG RL RS1412

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