The budget session of the Karnataka Assembly was off to a stormy start after BJP lawmakers marched to the well of the House and shouted slogans "Go back Governor...No Government in the state." The BJP claimed that the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-Janata Dal (United) coalition government lacked majority as four Congress lawmakers were missing in the House today.
Coalition partners, the JD(U) and the Congress, alleged that the BJP was trying to destabilize the government by luring ruling party lawmakers.
Amid the pandemonium, Governor Vajubhai Vala read only two pages of his speech and left the House. Soon after, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar tabled the Governor's speech as 'read' and copies of his address were circulated to the legislators.
Bengaluru: Protest in Karnataka Assembly by opposition parties during Governor Vajubhai Vala's address. BJP alleged that the present government doesn't have the numbers & is a minority government. pic.twitter.com/lqbxyvsSav— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2019
"We are not trying to destabilize the government. The people are unhappy...there is no development or coordination between the coalition partners in the state...This government has no right to stay," Karnataka BJP chief, BS Yeddyurappa told NDTV.
Demanding that Kumaraswamy must step down as Chief Minister, BJP legislator from Chitradurga, B Sriramulu, said that BJP was protesting against the coalition government's alleged failure to waive farm loans fully. "The coalition government has failed in supporting the farmers...We will continue our protests in the House to highlight the government's failures," Sriramulu told reporters outside the Assembly.
The Congress in Karnataka is in a bind over the four lawmakers, Ramesh Jharkoholi, Mahesh Kumtahalli, B Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav, who have been skipping meetings despite legislative party leader Siddaramaiah's notices.
In the notice dated January 27, Siddaramaiah had asked the four lawmakers to meet him "in person and explain" their absence from the special Congress Legislative Party meeting. The Congress lawmakers, however, even after nine days did not respond. In a bid to keep his troops together, Siddaramaiah yesterday hosted a dinner for the state Congress lawmakers before the budget session.
Congress leader and minister in the coalition government KJ George said that the BJP was free to move a 'no-confidence' motion. "There is no use of the BJP creating a ruckus in the Assembly. If they are uncertain that the coalition has the majority support; they are free to move a no-confidence motion," he retorted. Later the Karnataka Congress in a tweet called the disruption by the BJP a "disrespect" to the Governor and the House.
(With inputs from IANS & ANI)