//Karnataka govt’s bill on religion defeated

Karnataka govt’s bill on religion defeated

dec 19 2011

Ahead of the crucial by-election to the Legislative Council, the ruling BJP was outwitted by the Opposition which defeated the government’s move to get the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2011 passed in the Assembly. The bill was defeated by a single vote. This is a record of sorts as no bill moved by the ruling party, has been defeated by the Opposition in recent years.

The incident happened after the Congress requested muzrai minister Dr V.S. Acharya to take up the same bill during the next session. However, the minister refused to give in following which leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah demanded a vote on the bill.

When Speaker K.G. Bopaiah put the bill to vote, 33 members rose in support while 34 Opposition members including five Independent legislators and JD(S) members opposed it. The bill was earlier passed by the Upper House.

Earlier, the Opposition insisted on a debate on the bill but Dr Acharya replied that the proposed amendments were minor in nature. As the bill had already been approved by the Council, it had to be passed on Friday, he said.

Mr Siddaramaiah however felt that a debate was needed as the government’s move to keep temples attached to maths out of the purview of legislation had far reaching consequences which needed to be studied in depth.

He claimed that the government had transferred the Sri Krishna temple in Udupi to Ashtamaths going against the Apex Court’s verdict. Similarly, the Mahabaleshwar temple in Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district too was given the same treatment after it was handed over to Ramachandrapura math, he said.

“For the sake of gods and goddesses, the bill should be discussed at length and can be taken up during the next session,” Dr Mahadevappa demanded. Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda was not present when the bill was defeated.

When Siddaramaiah demanded the resignation of the government on moral grounds as it had been defeated on the floor of the House, water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai intervened and said “Leave it sir, it is only an amendment bill.”

Deccan Chronicle, December 17, 2011