Congress asks state leaders to keep flock together

Congress asks state leaders to keep flock together

Ahead of the Budget Session in Karnataka, the Congress high command has asked the state leadership to keep its MLAs together so that the government can pass the Finance Bill smoothly.

The instructions from the party top brass came following an attempt by the BJP to topple the state government during the Budget Session that begins this week.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who was briefed by former chief minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and AICC in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal last week about the political developments in the state, told them that the party should not be blamed in case the BJP tries to topple the government.

The legislature session begins on February 6 and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, is slated to present the 2019-20 Budget on February 8. The state government is expected to pass the Finance Bill by February 14 or 15.

The Congress is apprehensive that the BJP may try to lure some MLAs and ensure that they miss the session.

“If the BJP succeeds in its plan and the government fails to pass the Finance Bill, then the government will collapse,” said a Congress leader.

Rahul also asked the state leaders to talk to all rebel MLAs and try to fulfil their demands.

“The Congress top brass clearly directed the state leadership to ensure that no MLA skips the session. The party also asked both Siddaramaiah and Gundu Rao to take all steps to keep the MLAs together,” said the Congress leader.

With JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda threatening to take the extreme step unless the Congress keeps its motormouth MLAs under control, Rahul is also learnt to have instructed the state leadership to not create any trouble in the coalition government.

Rahul’s instructions came after some Congress leaders openly claimed that for them, Siddaramaiah is the chief minister. Indicating that the party may be forced to indulge in one or more rounds of resort politics, the Congress leader said: “Till the passage of the Finance Bill, the party may keep its MLAs in one place.”

The BJP, which failed in its earlier attempt to lure Congress MLAs, may make another attempt during the Budget Session. “The Congress will not allow the BJP to topple the government at any cost,” the leader added.