BJP MLA Hebbar who abstained from voting in RS polls says he had health issues


PTI, Feb 28, 2024, 6:02 PM IST

Yellapur: BJP MLA Arabail Shivaram Hebbar on Wednesday cited health issues as the grounds for abstaining from voting in the Rajya Sabha elections.

He said there was no link between his abstention and his disgruntlement with the district unit of the party.

The Yellapur MLA did not turn up for the voting despite a party whip, while Yeshwanthpur MLA S T Somashekhar voted in favour of Congress in the name of ”conscience”, during the polls to four seats of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka on Tuesday, in an embarrassment to the BJP.

Somashekhar on Wednesday participated in the Assembly session, and was seen in his designated seat on the opposition side, among other BJP MLAs.

Both Somashekhar and Hebbar were earlier in the Congress. They were among 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators, who had quit from their parties, which ultimately led to the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July, 2019. They had subsequently won the bypolls on BJP ticket and served as Ministers in the previous saffron party government.

”My health was not good in the morning (on Tuesday), I had planned to go (for voting), on Doctor’s advice after 6 PM I had to come back, for this reason I could not vote. Nothing else. I could have gone for voting and could have done cross voting or could have come without voting for anyone,” Hebbar said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, he was not a person who would abstain from voting out of any fear, and has been in politics for four decades.

”I was told by my personal assistant the whip was issued to me after 1 PM (on Tuesday). When the whip should be issued, how…law will take its course,” he further said.

Hebbar said, there was no ”relationship” between him abstaining from voting and his unhappiness with the party, and there are forums to express disgruntlement.

Asked whether he was giving any warning to the party by abstaining, he said, ”I have not given any warning, I had some (health) issues, so could not go.” Hebbar said: ”my disgruntlement is only at the district level. I have no disgruntlement at the state or national level. I have said this earlier too, I am saying it again now”.

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