Anti-cow slaughter Bill passed in Karnataka

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Amid uproar, it was passed by voice vote even as Opposition members demanded division of vote in Legislative Council

Amid uproarious scenes with Opposition members tearing copies of the Bill and protesting in the Well of the House, The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, was passed by voice vote on Monday in the Legislative Council. This was even as the Opposition Congress and the Janata Dal (S), whose combined strength forms a majority in the House, demanded a division of vote.

It may be recalled that with no support from the Janata Dal (S), the BJP had failed to get the Bill passed in the council during the last session in December 2020, forcing the government to promulgate an ordinance.

The Bill was tabled again in the council on Monday.

B.K. Hariprasad, Congress MLC, told presspersons that the government had “bulldozed” its way through and passed the Bill and the Opposition would continue the protest on Tuesday. Significantly, the Janata Dal (S), that is in alliance with the BJP for the Council Chairman’s election scheduled to be held on Tuesday, also opposed the Bill. “Congress and Janata Dal (S) members raised objections to the Bill and sought a division of vote, which was not allowed. When the BJP does not independently hold a majority in the House, how could the Bill be passed by voice vote when division was sought?” Mr. Hariprasad questioned.

Extended debate sought

After nearly two hours of debate on the Bill on Monday, Congress and Janata Dal (S) members demanded an extended debate on the crucial Bill to be taken up on Tuesday. However, Deputy Chairman M.K. Pranesh said since the motion of thanks for the Governor’s speech was to be taken up for debate on Tuesday, the Bill had to be put to vote on Monday.

Janata Dal (S) member Maritibbe Gowda objected to the restriction of debate, saying either the debate must be taken up on Tuesday or everyone must be given a chance to speak even if it meant an “all-night session”. Mr. Pranesh, however, restricted the time of the debate till 7.30 p.m., leading to protests.

Mr. Pranesh took up the Bill for voting, leading to more outrage among the Opposition members. Some of the Congress members rushed to the Well of the House and tore copies of the Bill, while others, including Janata Dal (S) members went to the Speaker’s table and protested. Meanwhile, the BJP members raised slogans of “Gomata ki Jai”.

Amidst the pandemonium, Mr. Pranesh put the Bill to voice vote and announced it had been accepted and adjourned the House till Tuesday.

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