The chief whip of the Karnataka coalition government, Ganesh Hukkeri, in a letter had asked all party legislators to be present for the Assembly session which commenced on February 6.
Bengaluru: The BJP party workers broke out in objection of the proceedings in the Assembly Sessions in Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday. They claimed that the Congress and the JD(S) put together did not have a majority in order to continue.
Amid two independent legislators changing parties, one Congress MLA paying bills for his treatment due to injuries caused by the other, while the other who is absconding fearing arrest, and four Congress MLAs who are incommunicado, the Karnataka coalition government began its Budget session on Wednesday.
If the numbers of the ruling party legislators who will be present was not trouble enough for the coalition government, water resources minister DK Shivakumar being summoned by an Enforcement Directorate (ED) court in New Delhi on the day of the Budget does not help its case either.
On Tuesday, the chief whip of the coalition government Ganesh Hukkeri wrote a letter and demanded that all party legislators be present for the session.
However, the Kumaraswamy-led government has already lost two of its independent MLA’s support, reducing the number to 118. Out of which, four MLAs namely Mahesh Kumathalli, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav and B Nagendra have not responded yet.
Nonetheless, a letter from Congress leader Siddaramaiah's office, clearly shows that MLA Mahesh Kumathalli from Athani has not been in contact with the party from the time he was absent during the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting held in January.
In the letter, Siddaramaiah said, "On 27 January the CLP secretary had issued a notice to you asking you to meet me in person and explain your absence from the special CLP meeting. Even after nine days, you have not met me. You are hereby required to meet me either before the session on February 6 or at the CLP leader office room number 133 in Vidhana Soudha."
Including the two independent candidates, if all the six legislators skip the session, the coalition’s figures will drop to 112 as against BJP’s 106.
However, Anand Singh was seen getting down from the car along with JD(S) leader Zameer Ahmed Khan and former chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Just a few minutes into the Budget session, state BJP leaders objected to proceedings and said that the present coalition government cannot function as they do not have majority. They also said that the BJP party would call for a Party legislature meeting before calling for a no-confidence motion.
On the other hand, Bengaluru's Malleshwaram BJP MLA Ashwath Narayan, who is said to be playing a primary role in "Operation Lotus" was missing during the session. Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi too was absent. This has led to speculation that the Congress might be in a quest to reverse BJPs tactics on them.
Speaking to reporters, BJP leader CT Ravi said, "Many Congress MLAs proclaimed Siddaramaiah as chief minister even after HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in. After several warnings, he (Kumaraswamy) came to a point where he said he would step down from his position. All this should be highlighted during the session."
The missing candidates in the ongoing session are Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav, Narayan Gowda, B Nagendra, R Shankar and Mahesh Kumathalli, BC Patil, H Nagesh. JN Ganesh, Dr K Sudhakar.
The session has been adjourned after BJPs strong objection and resume tomorrow.
The BJP are set to meet the governor in this regard and have also said that the protest will continue if the session resumes on February 7.
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Last Updated 6, Feb 2019, 1:33 PM