Din in Karnataka Assembly as bus driver-conductor attempts suicide over transfer
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly was filled with tumultuous scenes on Thursday (July 6) as a government bus driver-cum-conductor attempted suicide. The driver allegedly accused a minister of unjustifiably transferring him, leading to the uproar.
Raising the issue in the House, former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (BJP) alleged that the bus driver-cum-conductor in Ramanagara district has accused the Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy of “forcing him to take the extreme step”.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation employee was battling for life in a hospital in Bengaluru but the police have not yet registered a case, he alleged.
“This incident shows that the government officers are in trouble. This is what people are talking about daily,” Bommai claimed.
He demanded an impartial investigation into the case and resignation of the Minister. just like others have done so in past instances.
In this context, he cited the case of deputy superintendent of police M K Ganapathy suicide in July 2016 forcing the then Home Minister K J George to resign as the police officer had allegedly accused him.
Similarly, BJP minister K S Eshwarappa had resigned when a contractor committed suicide accusing him of demanding 40 per cent commission.
Participating in the discussion, former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said in just 50 days of the government taking over, “such incidents are happening”.
He linked the incident with the upcoming Panchayat elections in certain parts of the state.
“Government officers and employees are being threatened that they will either be removed from service or transferred,” Kumaraswamy charged.
The wife of the KSRTC employee who attempted suicide by consuming poison, is a Panchayat member and hence, pressure has been exerted unnecessarily on him, Kumaraswamy alleged.
Citing the suicide note, he claimed that the employee has accused Minister Chaluvarayaswamy of transferring him.
“The driver has said he was not aware why the minister was angry with him. He has held the minister responsible,” Kumaraswamy alleged.
He also said the evidence and documents related to the case are being destroyed and false accusations are made against him that the KSRTC employee misbehaved with a passenger.
The JD(S) leader too demanded the minister’s resignation citing instances of George and Eshwarappa resigning when similar incidents took place when they were in office.
Reacting to it, Energy Minister K J George said the investigation by the CBI gave him a clean chit in DySP suicide case but Kumaraswamy did not show any courtesy to apologise for “defaming him”.
George further said that the JD(S) leader is “roaming around” with a pen drive about some evidence, which he should make public.
The minister was referring to Kumaraswamy displaying a pen drive during a media interaction on Wednesday where he claimed that he has evidence of large-scale transfer business (corruption) going on in the government.
In his reaction, Kumaraswamy sought to know why he was afraid of the pen drive.
Soon the ruling Congress MLAs and the opposition BJP and the JD(S) were seen resorting to arguments leading to commotion.
Some BJP MLAs then charged the government with collecting “commission” which led to further din.
As the opposition appeared to be preparing for dharna in the well of the Assembly over the issue, Speaker U T Khader adjourned the House.
(With agency inputs)