Karnataka BJP MLA Arbail Shivaram Hebbar says he abstained from voting in Rajya Sabha polls due to health issues

Hebbar clarified that his decision not to vote was not out of fear and stated that he has been in politics for four decades.


Published Feb 28, 2024 | 9:02 PMUpdatedFeb 28, 2024 | 9:03 PM

Arabail Shivaram Hebbar. (Facebook)

Karnataka BJP MLA Arbail Shivaram Hebbar on Wednesday, 28 February, 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 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 ST 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.

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The reason for absence

  • Both Somashekhar and Hebbar were previously members of the Congress.
  • They were among the 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators who resigned from their parties, leading to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July 2019.
  • Subsequently, they won the by-polls on BJP tickets and served as ministers in the previous BJP government.
  • Hebbar explained that he did not vote due to health reasons. He mentioned that he had planned to vote but had to return on his doctor’s advice after 6 pm.
  • Hebbar clarified that his decision not to vote was not out of fear and stated that he has been in politics for four decades.
  • He mentioned receiving the whip after 1 pm on Tuesday and stated that the law would take its course regarding when a whip should be issued.
  • Hebbar denied any connection between his decision to abstain from voting and his dissatisfaction with the party, stating that there are appropriate forums to express discontent.
  • When asked if he was issuing a warning to the party by abstaining, Hebbar denied this, citing health issues as the reason for not voting.
  • He emphasised that his discontent was only at the district level and that he had no dissatisfaction with the state or national level of the party, reiterating his previous statements.

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