Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday made some appointments and replacements in his administration in what is seen as a way to pacify rebel MLAs, The New Indian Express reported. He is scheduled to present the state Budget in the Assembly on Friday.
On Thursday, the Karnataka Assembly was adjourned for the second straight day after Bharatiya Janata Party legislators disrupted proceedings, claiming that the coalition government of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) lacked a majority. The BJP has demanded that Kumaraswamy quit his post as chief minister.
Kumaraswamy appointed legislator Pratap Gowda Patil to the chairperson’s post in the Warehouse Corporation to replace rebel Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav, NDTV reported. The chief minister appointed Basanagouda Daddal the chairperson of the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board and MA Gopalaswamy the new parliamentary secretary to Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar.
Nine Congress MLAs, who had skipped the party legislature meeting on Wednesday, were not present in the Assembly on Thursday despite the party issuing a whip directing them to be present in the House on all days of the Budget Session. Among the rebel legislators are Umesh Jadhav, Mahesh Kumtalli, Ramesh Jarkiholi and B Nagendra, who are reportedly in touch with the BJP.
Legislator JN Ganesh, who was suspended last month from the Congress after he allegedly assaulted fellow party MLA Anand Singh during a brawl at a resort, was also absent.
The Congress attempted to put up a brave face about the turnout on Friday. “All MLAs will come tomorrow,” former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told The New Indian Express. “We are confident of our numbers, but the Bharatiya Janata Party is not. That is why they are not moving a no-confidence motion.”
Siddaramaiah had issued a fresh whip ordering four dissenting lawmakers to attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting on Friday, ANI reported. Siddaramaiah said the legislators would face action under the anti-defection law if they remain absent.