Ahead of the Budget Session, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has removed dissenting Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav from the post of chairman of the Warehouse Corporation and replaced him with Pratap Gowda Patil. Basanagouda Daddal, the Congress MLA from Raichur, has been appointed as the chairman of Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Board. Gopalaswamy is the new parliamentary secretary to Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar. This development can be seen as a move towards pleasing potential rebels in an effort to pacify them ahead of Friday's Budget Session. The Budget Session will be held at 12.32 pm, following legislative party meetings by the Congress, BJP an JDS. Sources said Jadhav and another dissident, Ramesh Jharkiholi, may be sacked by the Congress today.
Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MPs had called a joint press conference at Karnataka Bhavan-1 in the national capital on Thursday, apparently as a show of their strength. The development comes a day after 10 Congress lawmakers skipped the joint session, which was marked by the huge uproar. Soon after the session started, about 30-40 BJP members trooped into well of the House, raising slogans against the coalition government following which Governor Vajubhai Vala had to abruptly cut short his speech.
"You are made to read lies, so please don't read it," BJP members said.
"We don't want a bundle of lies to be read. Down down... the government that has lost majority and trust," BJP lawmakers shouted.
Soon after Vala left, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar tabled his address as 'read' for adoption by the House after a motion of thanks during the budget session till February 15. The House was adjourned after it paid tributes to state's iconic seer Shivakumara Swami, who passed away at Tumakuru on January 21, and Mangaluru-born former Defence Minister George Fernandes, who died in New Delhi on January 29.
Three BJP legislators were also conspicuously absent from the House.
Defending the protest against the ruling alliance partners, BJP's state unit president and opposition leader in the House BS Yeddyurappa said the coalition government was not stable due to a revolt in the Congress and serious differences with the JD-S, the government had no moral right to continue.
Yeddyurappa, however, reiterated that the BJP would not move a no-confidence motion against the coalition government.
In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated from the Anglo-India community, the Congress has 80, including the Speaker, JD(S) 37, BJP 104 and remaining are an Independent and one each from the BSP and the KPJP.
(With agency inputs)