BJP to corner coalition govt at Belagavi session today

The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha is all lights and colours on the eve of the winter session in Belagavi on Sunday. DH Photo/ M S Manjunath

With the 10-day winter session commencing on Monday at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha (SVS) here, the entire government machinery has shifted to Belagavi.

The legislature session is bound to be stormy, as it is going to witness several debates on issues like farm loan waiver, drought and the government’s attitude towards north Karnataka.

The Opposition BJP has drawn up strategies to corner the JD(S)-Congress coalition government both inside and outside the legislature. It has decided to organise a mega farmers’ rally on the first day of the session near Alarwad Cross. The BJP plans to embarrass the government for the delay in effective implementation of farm loan waiver scheme. The party has planned to mobilise around one lakh farmers for the rally.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa has instructed all his party MLAs to take part in the farmers’ protest soon after the obituary references.

The party has prepared to question the government about the grants released to drought-hit taluks. The party, which had sent its senior leaders to survey drought conditions across the state, will seek answers from the government about relief provided to more than 100 taluks declared drought-hit.

Charging that the ministers had not visited many of the drought-hit taluks, the BJP has targeted the government for not releasing funds to carry out relief works, including supply of drinking water and fodder for cattle.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy will have to defend his stand on north Karnataka once again, as the BJP looks to capitalise on charges that the government had neglected 13 districts in north Karnataka.

The BJP will train its guns on Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah over alleged financial irregularities highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on the 2016-17 budget.

The saffron party has released a booklet, compiling CAG’s audit objections and observations, which was tabled by Kumaraswamy recently. The report has said that there was a 19% mismatch in the state’s receipts and expenditure, which translates into Rs 35,000 crore of public money that is unaccounted for. It plans on building pressure on Kumaraswamy to act against Siddaramaiah.

The ruling coalition also faces internal turmoil with speculations rife that several Congress MLAs may not participate in the session. The MLAs, who are aspiring for cabinet berths, are likely to arm-twist the party leadership by giving the session a miss.

The government has prepared to counter the Opposition by highlighting the failure of nationalised banks in extending support for loan waiver.

KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters in Bengaluru that the coalition was well prepared to face the Opposition.

Rao said the party would not tolerate absenteeism of its legislators. He said that the MLAs should not use the Cabinet expansion as an excuse to stay away.

Noting that the CLP meeting would be held on December 18, Rao reiterated that the Cabinet expansion would take place on December 22, as announced by Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy.

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