JD(S) may spoil Shettar's party during legislature session

Government likely to find it difficult to pass finance bills

It may not be a smooth run for the Jagadish Shettar government during the forthcoming legislature session. The JD(S) is reportedly trying to get in touch with BJP legislators, sour on being denied ministerial berths, apparently to create problems during the passage of finance bills.

To add to Shettar’s worries, discontent looms large among a section of ministers in his Cabinet for not being allocated plum portfolios. 

These ministers, including some seniors like Govind Karjol and Bacche Gowda, are planning to meet and decide on their next course of action on July 18, the eve of the commencement of the State legislature session. Balachandra Jarkiholi and Anand Asnotikar are among the others in this group, it is said. 

The disgruntled legislators, who claim to be 20 in number, are also meeting on the same day. By holding their meeting on the eve of the crucial legislature session, both the groups want to step up pressure on Shettar to meet their demands. The finance bills related to the State budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 are to be passed during the session. Defeat of a finance bill on the floor of the House would mean fall of the government.

Speculation was rife that Belur Gopalakrishna, a BJP legislator, met JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy at the latter’s Sadashivanagar guesthouse on Monday evening and held detailed discussion on the political situation. But Kumaraswamy’s close aides denied it.

However, sources in the BJP said the disgruntled legislators may not go to the extent of voting against the government as they would be portrayed as “betrayers” and as having dislodged an elected government to meet their own selfish ends. Also, the JD(S) may not get the numbers to pull down the government.

The legislators may embarrass the government by staying away from the House or stepping out whenever a bill is taken up for consideration. They may also contest on JD(S) tickets during the next elections.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda said a group of disgruntled BJP MLAs have been in touch with Kumaraswamy.

“They (BJP legislators) may be in touch with Kumaraswamy because he tries to understand their problems. Some of these legislators have been in contact with Kumaraswamy right from day one of the BJP coming to power,” he said. He, however, did not reveal the names of BJP legislators who are hobnobbing with the JD(S).

The disgruntled ministers are unhappy with Shettar’s decision to continue portfolios held by them in the Sadananda Gowda Cabinet. These ministers (most of them had associated themselves with the Sadananda Gowda camp during the tussle for leadership) had protested the move when it was first mooted and had sought reallocation of portfolios. However, despite their opposition, Shettar got the proposal approved by the party’s central leadership.

Bacche Gowda is said to be keen on power, the portfolio held by Shobha Karandlaje, a protege of Yeddyurappa. Govind Karjol, who was in the race for the post of deputy chief minister, had sought water resources, a portfolio held by Basavaraj Bommai.

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