Belagavi : The Karnataka legislature’s monsoon session, beginning here from Monday, is set to be stormy with the opposition parties resolving to corner the ruling Congress on several issues, especially suicides by sugarcane farmers over non-payment of dues and the lottery scam.
The three-week session is being held in two phases – from June 29 to July 10 in this northern city, about 510 km from Bengaluru, and from July 13 to 24 in the state capital.
Ahead of the session, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) have flagged off their padayatras (marches) from Hubballi in support of the farmers’ issues.
The twin marches will reach Belagavi on Monday for a massive demonstration at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha here to protest the state government’s “anti-people” and “anti-farmers” policies, rising crime graph in Bengaluru, and delays in executing infrastructure projects across the state.
As the government of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has to secure vote-on-account on its budget proposals for this fiscal, the Congress has issued a whip to all its lawmakers to attend the assembly sessions without fail, and is pulling all stops to secure the opposition’s help in passing the bills.
“We have told all 122 members to attend the full legislative session here and in Bengaluru later,” Congress chief whip Ashok Pattan told reporters.
Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa told reporters that the business advisory committee will meet on Monday to decide on the session’s duration and proceedings “as many members want to be in Bengaluru for campaigning in the civic body elections due on July 28”.
“The committee will hold consultations with the lawmakers and on the duration and business to be conducted and put to vote in the absence of consensus,” he asserted.
Death of two sugarcane growers, one in Mandya district and the other at Kalaburgi on June 25 has put the Congress government on the defensive as it has not been able to make sugar mills pay arrears to cane growers.
The multi-crore single lottery scam, which led to suspension of Bengaluru’s Additional Police Commissioner Alok Kumar, will also figure prominently during the session, as the state government has decided to order a Central Bureau of Investigation probe retrospectively.