At the first special legislative session after the formation of the Congress government in Karnataka, MLAs set a unique precedent, much to the displeasure of pro-tem speaker R V Deshpande — some of the newly elected legislators took the oath in the name of God, Hindutva, their spiritual gurus, and two MLAs even took it in the name of their political guru, DK Shivakumar!
Of the 224-member strong Karnataka assembly, nine MLAs hurriedly took the oath of office on Wednesday, minutes before the election of the speaker, after delaying it for an “auspicious date”.
According to the officials at the Karnataka legislature, 182 MLAs took the oath of office on May 22, and another 34 members the following day. Of the nine MLAs, most are from the JD(S), which won 19 seats and include former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy (JDS), his brother and former minister H D Revanna.
News18 has learnt that they did not turn up earlier, as they consider Tuesday “inauspicious”.
These lawmakers were not allowed to vote for the election of the speaker, which was conducted on Wednesday. Five-time MLA and senior Congressman U T Khader was unanimously named the speaker.
Despite Deshpande’s insistence on God or the Constitution, legislators took the oath of office in the name of Lord Ram, the holy cow, Udupi Sri Krishna, Chhatrapati Shivaji, HD Deve Gowda, DK Shivakumar, and 12th-century social reformer and saint Basavanna, among others.
Shivakumar, who took the oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka in the name of his religious guru, Gangadhar Ajja, whom he refers to as his ‘God’, took his guru’s name again while taking the oath as a new member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took the oath as an MLA in the name of God on the first day of the session itself.
Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Bijapur City assembly seat, took the oath of office in the name of Hindutva and Gaumata (holy cow). Another BJP MLA from Belthangady, Harish Poonja, took his oath with a difference, in the name of Lord Ram.
Sharan Salagar, the MLA from Basavakalyan, took his oath in the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Basavanna, while Congress MLA from Kolar Gold Fields, Rupa Sashidhar, took the oath in the name of Buddha, Basavanna, Dr Ambedkar, and God.
The son of BJP stalwart B S Yediyurappa and first-time MLA, BY Vijayendra, took the oath as an MLA in the name of Huchchuraya Swamy.
Udupi MLA Yashapal Suvarna, who is also the face of the anti-hijab protesters, took the oath in the name of Udupi Sri Krishna, Vibhudesh Swamiji, and Gaumata (holy cow).
First-time BJP MLA from the Dakshina Kannada region, Bhagirathi Muruliya, took her oath as an MLA in the name of all her family deities, while senior Congress leader and MLA from Belagavi Rural, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, was among those who decided to take the oath in the name of saint Basavanna, who is highly revered in the state.
Considered a giant slayer for defeating former CM Jagdish Shettar, Hubballi-Dharwad MLA Mahesh Tenginakai took the oath in the name of Mahakooteshwara of Badami.
Three MLAs took the oath of office in the name of their political mentor, Deve Gowda and DK Shivakumar. S Manjunath, the JDS MLA from Mulbagilu, took the oath in the name of the JDS supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
The Congress MLA from Channagiri, Shivaganga Basavaraj, and Kunigal MLA HD Ranganath took the oath as legislators in the name of their political mentor Shivakumar and God.
Newly appointed state ministers Dr G Parameshwara, KH Muniyappa, KJ George, Priyank Kharge, MB Patil, and Satish Jarkiholi, took the oath as MLAs in the name of the Constitution of India and God.
With inputs from News18