Smooth session: Shettar shifts onus onto ministers

Dist in-charges asked to ensure passage of crucial bills

Amidst speculation that the discontent in party MLAs would create problems for his government, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday entrusted the responsibility of smooth passage of finance bills in the extended budget session scheduled to commence from Thursday, to his Cabinet colleagues.

In a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues, including two deputies, held at his home office Krishna, Shettar is learnt to have directed district in-charge ministers to ensure that the party MLAs from the respective districts are present at the time of passage of crucial bills in the House.

Shettar and Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa are learnt to have asked the district in-charge ministers to ensure that all MLAs vote for the ‘right candidate’ in the Presidential election.

Shettar will be facing the opposition parties in the session for the first time after becoming the chief minister. The session assumes significance as the government has to obtain approval for the complete budget for 2012-13 fiscal. The previous D V Sadananda Gowda government had presented a vote on account, obtaining approval for the initial four months of the financial year.

There have been rumours in political circles that disgruntled MLAs in the ruling party would create problems for the government in the smooth passage of the finance bill, which is a must for the functioning of the government. Besides, there is a possibility of the disgruntled MLAs cross voting in the Presidential election. 

A large number of the party legislators are upset over being denied ministerial berths.
While the party MLA from Kundapura, Haladi Srinivasa Shetty, has resigned, others like Belur Gopalakrishna have openly indulged in dissident activities. 

It is learnt that Shettar spoke to Gopalakrishna over phone and asked him not to make any statement that would damage the government. This apart, Sadananda Gowda, who was projected as the leader of the rival group in the BJP, said that he has the responsibility of ensuring that the government completes its full term. 

Reacting to rumours that he would be hosting a breakfast or lunch for at least 50 MLAs who stood by him when he was the chief minister, Gowda said: “Many people keep visiting me. Can I ask them not to come?. I have the responsibility of taking everyone along and to ensure that we do some service to the people. I have to see that the party completes its term.”

He also said that all MLAs should participate in the legislature session to ensure that the budget related bills are passed without any hitch.

MLAs pillory ministers

The anger of two BJP legislators at not being made ministers in the Jagdish Shettar cabinet boiled over at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Belur Gopalakrishna and Chandrappa could barely control their rage as they targeted ministers S A Ramdas and deputy chief ministers R Ashoka and K S Eshwarappa.

Referring to Ramdas in singular, Gopalakrishna said, “We know the history of Ramdas.

He was the root cause of dissidence activities thrice in the party. We know everything about the meetings he conducted at Windsor Manor. He has no ‘mana maryade’ (shameless). I will show what I can do as an MLA on July 29.”

Gopalakrishna’s ire was in response to Ramdas’ remarks in Mysore charging some MLAs including Gopalkrishna with attempting to destabilising the government, and warning Gopalakrishna that he had been earlier disqualified as a member of the Assembly and implying that he could face similar action again.

Chandrappa, who joined Gopalakrishna in airing his anger, said Eshwarappa had “failed” as BJP state president. 

“He is an unelected party president...He cannot even get two persons from his community elected to the Assembly,” he remarked.  In full steam, Chandrappa then turned his rage at Ashoka. “The Home Minister has forced the Lokayukta police to file a ‘B’ report in the case against him in the Lokayukta court,” the MLA said, demanding that all tainted ministers in the State cabinet should be sacked. 

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