K'taka legislature session begins today
Belagavi (Karnataka): The winter session of the Karnataka legislature, set to begin here from Monday, is likely to be a stormy affair with the opposition BJP expected to corner the government over a host of issues, including farmer suicides and alleged lack of clarity and delay in the implementation of the farm loan waiver.
Coalition worries within the ruling Congress-JDS alliance and disgruntlement over the delay in the cabinet expansion may also cast a shadow over the session.
The saffron party has already announced a large-scale protest meet in Belagavi, likely to be attended by over one lakh farmers, during the session to corner the government on agrarian issues.
With 100 taluks in 24 districts of Karnataka being declared drought-hit, BJP leaders are likely to take on the state government over relief and mitigation measures.
"The chief minister has confined himself to Old Mysuru region... We will raise farmers issues both inside and outside the House. Tomorrow, we are gathering more than one lakh farmers to send a strong message to the government," Leader of Opposition in the Assembly B S Yeddyurappa said. The animosity between Yeddyurappa and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who have been indulging in a verbal duel, and the results of Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Mizoram to be declared on Tuesday, is expected to add spice to the heated atmosphere in the legislature.
The BJP, which is the single-largest party in the 224-member Assembly with 104 MLAs, has been alleging that the government has "not taken off" even six months after being in power. Hitting back at this, Kumaraswamy has said the coalition government will hold its performance to the BJP chief Yeddyurappa's "face", during the session. The JD(S)-Congress government's worries may be heightened with sugarcane farmers in Belgavi district threatening to intensify their protest over demands for clearance of their arrears by sugar factories and announcement of purchase price for sugarcane for the current season as had been done in neighbouring Maharashtra.
Sugarcane farmers had withdrawn their protest last month following assurances from the government that their issues would be resolved. They have now threatened to resume it during the session, alleging that the government has not kept its word. Issues within the ruling coalition are troubling the government, whose longevity and stability has been questioned repeatedly. Several legislators, especially those from the Congress, are reportedly unhappy over delay in cabinet expansion and functioning of the coalition government.
With some Congress MLAs allegedly threatening to boycott the winter session, the ruling coalition's coordination committee, that met on Wednesday, decided to expand the Kumaraswamy ministry on December 22, soon after the session ends.