Bengaluru, Jan 27 : The seven-day legislative session in Karnataka will begin on Thursday with Governor Vajubhai Vala delivering the customary address to the joint sitting of the state legislature. The session is scheduled to conclude on February 5.
This is the first session of the Karnataka legislature in the New Year and is likely to be stormy as the opposition parties are likely to corner the BJP government in the state, which is already battling resentment within after the recent cabinet rejig.
This will be the first session after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa expanded his cabinet for the third time in his 17-month rule by inducting seven new ministers and reallocating portfolios among certain ministers to quell the dissidence within his cabinet.
After the Governor's address, obituary reference will be taken up to condole the death of important personalities. In all, 11 Bills will be presented in the session besides the question-hour session which will be held for six days.
Public is not allowed to witness the session and all the members have been asked to adhere to the Covid norms without fail.
The opposition Congress is set to encash on the public outbursts by a section of BJP legislators about the style of functioning of Yediyurappa and his son and BJP vice-president B.Y. Vijayendra, which are is expected to provide enough fodder to the opposition to corner the ruling party on its handling of the Covid crisis, providing relief to the flood affected people and the state's economy.
The ongoing agitation by the farmers against the three Central farm laws and lack of funds for developmental activities are also likely to gain prominence during the session.
The contentious anti-cow slaughter Act is once again expected to come to the fore with a Bill to this effect yet to be taken up in the legislative council.
However, the state government has already promulgated the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance that provides for punishment for killing of cattle and offers protection to those 'acting in good faith' to save them, to give effect to the Bill that is pending.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said the new Bills listed by the government along with those that are pending from the previous session will be taken up for consideration and passage.
Also, the government has promulgated three ordinances so far and Bills replacing them will be tabled during the session, he said.
The session comes at a time when there is strong resentment from aspirants within the BJP following Yediyurappa inducting seven new ministers into his cabinet and also regarding reallocation of portfolios among some ministers that underwent at least four rounds of changes, under pressure and threats of resignation.
Besides this, elections to the post of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the legislative council will also take place during the session.
The BJP cleared the name BJP MLC M.K. Pranesh from Chikkamagluru for the post of the Deputy Chairman that fell vacant due to the sudden demise of JD(S) leader S.L. Dharme Gowda, whose body was found on a railway track in Chikkamagaluru on December 29 last year.
With this, it is imminent that the JD(S) will get the Chairman's post in lieu of giving its support to the BJP in the council, which the former requires badly to clear its pending Bills.
Pranesh will be filing his nomination on Thursday and on Friday he might be declared unopposed if the opposition chooses not to contest.
In the event of Pranesh's victory, in all probability, incumbent Chairman K. Pratapachandra Shetty, who is from the Congress, may resign soon as the ruling BJP has moved a no-confidence motion against him and is expected to secure the support of the JD(S).
Currently, the ruling BJP is the single largest party in the council with 31 seats, followed by Congress with 29 seats, including the chairman, JD(S) with 13 seats, one Independent and one vacant seat (caused by the demise of Dharme Gowda).