Ahead of budget, Karnataka CM removes dissenting Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav

Congress has called its legislature party (CLP) meeting at 9 AM in the Vidhan Sabha.

Ahead of budget, Karnataka CM removes dissenting Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav

Bengaluru: Hours ahead of the state budget, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has removed dissenting Congress MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav from the post of the chairman of the Warehouse Corporation.

According to news agency ANI, Pratap Gowda Patil will replace Jadhav.

Among other decisions, the Karnataka CM has appointed Basanagouda Daddal, Congress MLA from Raichur, as the chairman of Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Board.

Making Karnataka’s fluid political situation more slippery, seven MLAs of Congress and three of BJP had abstained from the Assembly's Budget Session on Thursday, fuelling speculation of defection.

In order to tame the tide, Congress has called its legislature party (CLP) meeting on Friday. 

According to sources, the CLP meeting has been called by Siddaramaiah at 9 AM in the Vidhan Sabha.

Sources, however, did not disclose the name of these three MLAs.

In the 224-member Assembly, Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) has 37 MLAs, while Congress has 80 members.

Ever since the Congress-JDS jointly formed the government in Karnataka in May last year, there have been murmurs of resentment among them.

Before the start of the session, Congress had issued a whip to all its legislators to attend the first day of the session. Despite this, several legislators didn’t turn up in the assembly. “It is a minority government,” said the BJP.

The Congress MLAs who have abstained from the Assembly’s Budget Session are Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli, Dr Umesh Jadhav, Dr Sudhakar, BC Patil, Nagendra B, and JN Ganesh. 

Sources said that Nagendra B, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumathalli are said to be in touch with the BJP leadership.

Talking to media persons, Siddaramaiah on Thursday alleged on the second day of the session that BJP was offering more than Rs 30 crore to some of their MLAs. “I got evidence to reveal that but will release the evidence at an appropriate time,” he said.

Speaker Ramesh Kumar said, “I am ready to accept not only four but also 40 resignations if given to me. The coalition government is ready to pass a Finance Bill but if 12 legislators remain absent on Friday, then the bill can’t be passed.”

At present, the main concern of the coalition government led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, is to pass the Finance Bill.

Till now, the BJP hasn’t cleared if the party will move a no-confidence motion or they will meet Governor Vajubhai Wala to request him to disqualify this government. 

The Congress-JDS coalition, however, is confident to face the floor test.