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K’taka: BJP MLAs demand sacking of state minister over ‘saluting Muslim Speaker’ comment

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Belagavi (Karnataka), Dec 11 (IANS) Karnataka BJP MLAs staged a protest on the floor of the Assembly on Monday demanding the sacking of state minister and B.Z. Zameer Ahmad Khan for a remark he made during campaigning for recently-held Assembly elections in Telangana.Khan had reportedly said that the Congress government in Karnataka had compelled all the BJP MLAs to salute a Muslim Speaker (U.T. Khader), stirring a controversy in the southern state.Leading his party MLAs to the Well of the House, leader of opposition R. Ashoka demanded that Khan should be sacked for his ‘insulting’ remark involving the position of the Speaker. “We don’t know in which country we are living. Is this Pakistan? Khan should be sacked for showing BJP leaders in poor light,” Ashoka said.However, Speaker U.T. Khader did not pay heed to the ruckus and instead commenced a question and answer session. “The opposition leaders should be ashamed for not bothering to discuss about the Central government’s apathy towards the state government over the drought situation,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.”During drought and flood situations, the employment guarantee scheme could be extended to 150 days as per the law. But the Central government is not bothering to respond, and the shameless BJP leaders don’t want to discuss the issue. Instead, they are protesting over a useless matter,” he added.Meanwhile, Khan maintained that there was nothing wrong in his statement. “I had stated that everyone should convey their respect to the Speaker, what’s wrong with that,” he asked.Khader, meanwhile, said that he had already responded to the statement of Khan made in another state. “Assembly is run for the benefit of the people. Discussions should be held on drought and north Karnataka region. If the session is interrupted, Rs 20 crore spent on it would be useless,” Khader said.–IANSmka/arm

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