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Siddaramaiah issues second notice to the four ‘rebel’ MLAs who skipped the opening day of budget session

Congress had issued a whip to its MLAs to be present in the ongoing budget session in the assembly.

Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has issued a fresh notice to the four rebel MLAs seeking an explanation from them. He had earlier served notices to the four MLAs for failing to attend the CLP meeting on January 18.

Four Congress MLAs in Karnataka namely Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kamitalli, Umesh Jadhav and B Nagendra had skipped the Congress Legislative Party meeting on 18 January where the party had asked all its MLAs to be present after reports of poaching and defections to BJP.

The party had decided to move all its MLAs to a resort in the meeting.

Yesterday, the same four MLAs also failed to show up at the assembly on the first day of the budget session defying the party whip.

In his notice, former CM Siddaramaiah has reportedly asked the absconding MLAs to respond before or after the assembly session.

However, Congress is apparently unaffected by the MLAs skipping the opening budget session, at least this is what Congress leader D K Shivakumar portrayed when asked whether Congress is worried about BJP moving a no-confidence motion following the defiance of party’s directives by the four MLAs. “Let them try”, Shivakumar said. Shivakumar, on the contrary, attacked the BJP for boycotting the Governor’s speech earlier in the day.

The BJP had shouted slogans in the Karnataka assembly during Governor Vajubhai Vala’s speech. The party MLAs shouted, “Governor go back” in the assembly. The protesting MLAs alleged that the Congress-JD(S) government does not have a majority in the house.

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa defended the protests by saying, “No development is going on in the state. There is infighting within the cabinet. That is why we boycotted Governor’s speech.” He even denied that the party was going to move a no-confidence motion in against the Kumaraswamy government. “We are not going to move a no-confidence motion. We are waiting and observing everything”, Yeddyurappa said.

However, Siddramaiah said that there is no problem in the government. “The situation is not like it is being portrayed in the media. Notice has been served to all four MLAs (Ramesh Jarakiholi, Mahesh Kamatihalli, B Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav). There is no problem to the government”, Siddaramaiah said.

He added that three of the four MLAs have responded to his notice and only Umesh  Jadhav is yet to respond.

The Congress has 80 MLAs in the 224-member Karnataka assembly. With the alliance with JDS being always threatened by reports of rift and power struggle, Congress has maintained that they are in control of the situation and the alliance still holds a majority in the assembly.

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