Shedding their differences, bidding bitter acrimony bye, in a show of rare bonhomie and spirit of camaraderie, they flocked together for one last time for that official freeze-frame.
Yes, the members of ruling and Opposition parties, who vociferously indulged in verbal duels over several issues of the State, since the 13th Assembly came into being in May 2008, jovially converged on the forecourt of the Vidhana Soudha.
Cutting across party lines, the members, sporting beatific smiles, posed for the customary group photo, with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Speaker K G Bopaiah. A whole collegium of ministers was present, except Basavaraj Bommai.
The prominent absentees included Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and JD(S) floor leader H D Revanna. Of the five women MLAs, only Mallika Prasad (BJP), was present.
As is their wont, the MLAs too had a taste of VIPs’ penchant for arriving late for functions, and waited for arrival of Shettar from 10.15 am to 10.40 am. Shettar, on the other hand, who was fortuitous to be in power without the rug being pulled from under his feet, and could keep his date with presenting the budget proposals, was seen wiping away his tears.
The MLAs, in keeping with the occasion, grinned away to glory through the photo shoot, living in the moment, despite rumours agog that the KJP was again going to make more BJP MLAs resign.
However, none of such dramatics happened, with a senior minister stating that there is no threat to Shettar government, at least till the finance bill facilitating the budget proposals implementation from April 1, is passed.
Shettar is scheduled to make his reply on Valentine’s Day with the last session concluding on February 15. The question of Shettar himself moving a motion seeking the confidence of the House was not necessary as the passage of finance bill itself is sufficient to prove his majority, the minister said.
Meanwhile, scotching rumours that all 26 JD(S) MLAs may put in their papers to protest release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, JD(S) leader H D Revanna said they would head to Delhi to protest, but the date is yet to be decided.