Karnataka anti-conversion bill fails in the legislative council

Although the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Karnataka government successfully passed the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 in the legislative assembly, the bill was not tabled in the legislative council.

Despite making all possible efforts towards the end of the assembly session, the bill made no headway due to the united opposition resistance. It is to be noted that the tabling of the bill was not on the agenda for the day. Without the requisite numbers in the upper house, the ruling party were unsuccessful in getting the bill passed.

The incident unfolded on Friday afternoon after the resumption of the upper house in the second half. Basavaraj Horatti, the chairman of the council, adjourned the session till 3 pm. The government had reportedly planned to table the bill in the second half but confusion prevailed since quite a few legislators left for their respective cities. Some of the BJP legislators tried to convince Horatti in his chamber, seeking permission to table the bill. Congress legislators S R Patil, Narayanaswamy, and B K Hariprasad opposed it.

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Even as the BJP tried to table the bill in the upper house at 4 pm, the Congress and JDS legislators opposed it, as Narayanswamy, Hariprasad, CM Ibrahim stated that the Bill was not on the agenda. According to a report by The New Indian Express, Patil said, “Let the House first discuss the subjects which are on the agenda and then table the Bill. And if it is not possible, adjourn the house till Monday and then table it. We don’t have any objection.”

Amid the increasing opposition, Horatti adjourned the house for five minutes, for a meeting with five members of the BJP, who tried to convince him as a last resort. As the House resumed, there was a demand to adjourn it till Monday by the opposition. However, the chairman adjourned the upper house sine-die.

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