Saturday, February 27

CM Yediyurappa braces for stormy Karnataka assembly session

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Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa is likely to be in for a stormy session of the state legislature that begins on Thursday as opposition parties gear to corner the government over the farm, industrial and labour laws, illegal mining, regulations on cow slaughter and performance of the administration.

The session follows the unrest within Yediyurappa’s Cabinet. Several leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have publicly expressed their displeasure for either being overlooked for Cabinet berths or allocated undesirable portfolios. Yediyurappa, 77, had to reshuffle portfolios four times in five days to calm tempers.

“There are issues of corruption, infighting that is affecting governance, Covid-19 response and farm laws…,” said an opposition Congress leader. “We are going to protest during the governor’s address itself.”

The session will start with governor Vajubhai Vala’s address to the assembly.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday admitted a petition filed by Yediyurappa and minister Murugesh Nirani against a Karnataka high court order allowing restoration of a criminal case against them in the alleged illegal land de-notification matter.

The Congress is also likely to protest the decision against holding the session in Belagavi, about 500 km from Bengaluru. The winter session of the Karnataka legislature is held mostly in Belagavi to focus on issues from the northern parts of the state. This is also part of Karnataka’s strategy to thwart any attempts by neighbouring Maharashtra to claim the district.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackerey on Wednesday raked up the border row. He said the disputed regions should be declared Union territories until the issue is resolved.