Nine Congress MLAs skipped the budget session on February 6 and did not turn up the next day
In the middle of the political chaos in Karnataka over the ruling coalition's continuance in power, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy ensured the support of at least one section of disgruntled lawmakers ahead of budget session scheduled on February 8.
A day before presenting the budget, Kumaraswamy made last-minute changes and offered plum posts to potential rebels in the government on February 7. He appointed three Congress lawmakers to two boards and granted one lawmaker a Parliamentary Secretary post late last night.
Maski MLA Pratap Gouda Patil has been appointed as Chairman of Warehouse Corporation. He has replaced lawmaker Umesh Jadhav, one of the rebel Congress MLAs who was absenting himself from Congress Legislative Party meetings despite repeated warnings. Jadhav is reportedly in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Raichur Rural MLA Basanagoud Daddal will now be the Chairman of the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board. Hassan MLC MA Gopalaswamy will now be Parliamentary Secretary to Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar.
The three MLAs were reportedly disgruntled over not being given Cabinet-rank positions. So, the move appears as an effort by the CM to woo the trio.
Kumaraswamy will table the budget for 2019-20 at 12.30 pm on February 8.
The state assembly had to be adjourned on two occasions on February 7 as BJP MLAs disrupted proceedings for the second day, alleging that the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government lacked majority.
The nine Congress MLAs skipped the legislature sitting on February 6 and did not turn up the next day.
Absence of lawmakers kept the ruling coalition on tenterhooks on the opening day of the budget session and gave BJP an opportunity to target the coalition government.
So far, the coalition officially has 118 MLAs in a House with 113 as its halfway mark.(With inputs from agencies)