The Budget session of the Karnataka legislature gets underway on Wednesday and political parties in the state are gearing up for the battle. The state has been through political turmoil in the last few weeks, with legislators being bundled off to resorts as allegations and counter-allegations were made about poaching attempts.
The ruling Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition has alleged that the BJP is trying to bring down the government -- something that the party officially denies, but says, the coalition will fall by itself.
The coalition partners did face some trouble. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the JDS got upset after some Congress lawmakers praised his predecessor Siddaramaiah and compared him unfavourably with the Congress leader. Mr Kumaraswamy said he was ready to step down, which prompted top Congress leaders to reprimand lawmakers and reiterate their support to the coalition government.
And that wasn't the only fire-fighting the Congress needed to do. Four Congress lawmakers did not turn up for a party meeting in January and are yet to give a satisfactory explanation that was demanded from them for their absence. While the remaining Congress lawmakers were tucked away in a resort outside Bengaluru to keep them safe from any BJP attempts at poaching, some of them allegedly got into a brawl.
Anand Singh, who was beaten up allegedly by his colleague, had to spend several days in the hospital. The man who allegedly attacked him, JN Ganesh, another MLA, is still missing and the police are looking for him. So he is likely to be one definite absentee from the Assembly.
Ahead of the national election, the BJP launched the Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat, Modi Ke Saath campaign in Karnataka on Tuesday. State party president and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa launched the campaign at the party headquarters.
Mr Yeddyurappa told the media there was no truth in allegations that the BJP had been offering inducements to ruling party lawmakers to leave the coalition. He said, "It's all nonsense. Is there any truth to it? Why are they unnecessarily speaking like that? We have 104 lawmakers and we want to work as an opposition party. People have not given us absolute majority. They have absolute majority, but they are fighting with each other and blaming the BJP leaders."
When asked if the party would raise a no-confidence motion during the session, he said, "We will discuss and take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time."
And the Congress also gathered its troops together, with Siddaramaiah hosting a dinner for party lawmakers on Tuesday.