After Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla addressed a joint session of the Karnataka legislature today, the Congress criticised the move as breaking protocol. The opposition Congress said only the President or the Governor should address a joint session, and boycotted the speech by My Birla.
"The Karnataka government is creating a bad precedent by calling the Speaker to the assembly. Vidhana Soudha can't be used for a political angle. The party has decided to boycott. This is unwarranted. In the history of Karnataka, no one except the President or the Governor can come and address. We condemn it," Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was dismissive of the Congress's stand. "The Lok Sabha Speaker has addressed many assemblies, including in Congress-governed states. The Congress never believed in democracy," Mr Bommai said.
Former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa from the BJP was given the best legislator award for the past year by the Karnataka assembly. It was presented to him by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
It was the last day of the 10-day legislature session. Congress leaders did attend the morning session. They came on horse carts to protest high fuel price.
Former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah tweeted indicating the party would continue with street protests against the BJP. "Our party had decided not to enter the assembly well to protest during this session. Our intention was to dedicate the entire time to discuss the issues concerning the common man. Unfortunately, the BJP does not want any discussion. They just want to pass bills that suit their communal agenda. They are undemocratically silencing the voice of opposition. We will hit the streets to expose them," he tweeted.