Congress to boycott Om Birla’s speech to both Houses on Friday

A bad precedent is being set, charges Shivakumar

The Congress has decided to boycott Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s address to members of both the Houses of the State legislature on Friday.

Party legislators held a meeting and decided to boycott the speech of Mr. Birla on “Democracy: Safeguarding the parliamentary values”.

“We requested the Assembly Speaker not to hold such a joint session of the legislature in the Assembly and we urged him to hold the programme at the Banquet Hall in the Vidhana Soudha. But the Speaker turned down the suggestion,” KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar told the press after the meeting.

Noting that only the Governor and the President were eligible to address both Houses of the legislature, Mr. Shivakumar said Mr. Birla’s speech was “unwarranted”. He further said that the Legislative Assembly “cannot be used for political purpose”.

He said that the State government and the State legislature were creating a bad precedent by inviting the Lok Sabha Speaker to the Legislative Assembly to deliver a speech.

Mr. Shivakumar condemned Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri’s decision to invite Mr. Birla and said it was “against the spirit of the Constitution and rules of our democracy”.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kageri appealed to all members to be present in the House to hear Mr. Birla’s speech on Friday.

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