Bengaluru: The budget session of Karnataka legislature beginning Thursday is expected to be stormy with issues, including demands for better reservation by various communities and allegations of sexual harassment against a Minister who quit set to dominate the proceedings.
The session, to continue till March 31, will see the first two days reserved for discussion regarding ‘One Nation, One Election’.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who also holds the Finance portfolio will present the state budget, his eighth, on March 8.
The discussion on ‘One Nation, One Election’ is being held following the advice by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting of Speakers of state assemblies held in Gujarat.
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During the session, demands by various communities, including the dominant Vokkaliga and Veerashaiva-Lingayat, in the state to revise the existing reservation are likely to come up. Panchamasali Lingayats seer has threatened to go on a hunger strike demanding that the community be brought under a particular category in the state quota.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a known critic of Yediyurappa, has threatened to raise the issue in the assembly.
Also, the backward Kuruba community is seeking Scheduled Tribes tag and the Valmiki community pressing for its ST quota to be hiked from 3 per cent to 7.5 per cent and this is also likely to figure during the session.
Just days before the session, the government was hit by sexual harassment charges against Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who resigned on Wednesday.
Though the resignation would help the government avoid further embarrassment during the session, the opposition is likely to corner the ruling side on the issue and demand for a fair probe.
This being the budget session, the opposition is also likely to attack the government on its handling of state’s finances, allocation of development works amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its alleged inability in getting its share of funds from the centre.
With the pandemic threat still around, the session is being held with all the precautionary measures.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Tuesday had said people, barring students, will be allowed to watch the proceedings from the public gallery during the session after almost a year.