Rattled CM, deputy to hear out miffed coalition MLAs

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara are scheduled to meet all Congress-JD(S) legislators just before the start of the monsoon session of the legislature on July 12, in what is seen as a key step towards mollifying the disgruntled elements. 

The Congress-JD(S) coalition received a jolt earlier this week after two disgruntled MLAs - Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi - resigned. 

On July 9 and 10, Kumaraswamy is slated to discuss with legislators their demands.

Kumaraswamy is currently in the US for a private visit and is expected to return on July 7. 

The chief minister has been accused of not taking into confidence legislators, especially those from the Congress. Several MLAs have complained that they have not been receiving enough grants for the development of their constituencies, whereas their JD(S) counterparts get priority. This has led to disgruntlement that the BJP may tap into. 

“The chief minister is coming. On July 9 and 10, he will meet MLAs district-wise along with the deputy chief minister and ministers. The CM will discuss issues and problems faced by the MLAs and fix a time-bound programme to address them,” Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar told reporters. “So, we will sort it out before the legislature session starts,” he said. 

That the CM should meet MLAs was something Congress ministers had insisted during an informal Cabinet meeting that was convened on May 24, a day after the Lok Sabha election results, that saw the BJP sweeping Karnataka. In that meeting, Kumaraswamy was said to have agreed to hear out legislators who complained of being shortchanged under his regime.

For instance, Congress’ Vijayanagar legislator Anand Singh resigned citing problems of the Ballari district that he belongs to.

Another disgruntled MLA Mahesh Kumathalli has been pursuing the government for a remedy to the drinking water problem in the Athani constituency that he represents.

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