K’taka: Congress issues whip to MLAs to be present in budget session

Bengaluru: Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah has issued a whip to party legislators to be present in the state assembly during the budget session.

Any breach of the whip has serious consequences including disciplinary action against the violators, he said.

The budget session of Karnataka Assembly commenced on Wednesday. There was total pandemonium in the Karnataka Assembly as BJP shouted slogans and staged a walked out in the midst of Governor Vajubhai Vala’s speech, claiming that the incumbent JD(S)-Congress alliance government is a minority government.

Earlier in the day, the former chief minister had issued another notice to the four dissenting party MLAs seeking an explanation before or after the Assembly Session.

This comes a month after Siddaramaiah served notices to the four legislators who did not turn up at a Congress legislature party meeting in Bengaluru.

Speaking to the media at that time, Siddaramaiah said, “The situation is not like it is being portrayed in the media. Notice has been served to all four MLAs (Ramesh Jarakiholi, Mahesh Kamatihalli, B Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav). There is no problem to the government.”

Siddaramaiah also said three of the MLAs had responded to the notice with the exception of Umesh Jadhav, the MLA from Chincholi who has not replied yet.

The four Karnataka Congress MLAs on January 18 abstained from the CLP meeting, after which remaining 76 legislators were moved to a resort.

The meeting was convened by the party to assess whether its flock was intact amid speculation that some of the party MLAs had switched over to the BJP.

The Congress, which shares power with JD-S, has 80 MLAs in the 224-member Assembly, including the Speaker. Accordingly, 79 MLAs were expected to attend the CLP meeting held under the supervision of central leaders K C Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge.