Bengaluru, Feb 6: The opening day of the Karnataka Budget session began on a stormy note as the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by former Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa staged dharna in the well of the house shouting slogans for dismissal of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, claiming that it had lost majority.
Embolden by reported absence of about nine to ten ruling party MLAs, the Opposition BJP members, resorted to stage a dharna, demanding the Governor Vajubhai R Vala, who was delivering a customary speech to a joint session of the Karnataka Legislature ahead of its Budget session, not to read out the text-speech of the government, which has no majority in the house.
Mr Vala, unperturbed by the vociferous BJP legislators, started reading his speech. But he cut short short the 22-page speech after reading two pages of the text and exited the house even as the BJP members in the well chanted anti-government slogans.
While the Opposition BJP members were jubilant with about a dozen of the ruling party MLAs, remained absent, despite the Whip issued by the party, the scene in the Treasury benches remained gloomy.
The absence of the Congress MLAs, in the house, had fuelled the speculation on the BJP’s efforts to wean away the ruling party MLAs, and render the 8-month-old JD(S)-Congress combine to a minority one.
The MLAs, who defied the Congress whip are Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh jadhav, Mahesh Kumatalli, Nagendra, Ganesh J N, Dr Sudhakar, B C Patil and the JD(S) MLA, Narayana Gowda of KR Pet.
Not happy with the acts of some of the Congress MLAs, who stayed away from attending the session, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, Siddaramaiah, has convened a meeting of the CLP on Friday, and issued a strict warning to the party MLAs to attend it without fail.
The Congress leaders, are expected to take a stringent action, against the rebel MLAs, if they chose to defy the whip, including that of recommending the Speaker Ramesh Kumar to disqualify their membership from the house.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief minister Dr G Parameshwara had also invited all the JD(S) and the Congress MLAs and ministers to attend a dinner hosted at a Private hotel on Wednesday night.
Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and senior leaders of the JD(S) and the Congress are also expected to attend the dinner.
Meanwhile, strongly defending the BJP’s decision to boycott the Governor’s joint address to the Karnataka Legislature, former Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa said that “With the absence of ruling party MLAs, the coalition government have no any morality to continue in the office”.
Maintaining that BJP would continue to exert pressure on the government, which had lost the majority in the 224-member house, Yeddiyurappa had also convened a meeting of the Party legislators on Thursday.
The Vijayanagara MLA, Anand Singh, who was allegedly assaulted by another Congress MLA, J N Ganesh, however attended the house while the latter did not turn up, fearing an arrest from the Police. (UNI)