In a dramatic turn of events, BJP MLAs led by BS Yeddyurappa staged a walkout from the Karnataka Legislative Assembly as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy began his Budget 2019 speech. The BJP leaders accused the government of intentionally not delivering them the copies of the Budget.
The CM had earlier released an audio tape alleging that Yeddyurappa had offered Rs 25 lakh and a ministerial berth to a JD(S) MLA.
Kumaraswamy also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of masterminding the plan to topple the Karnataka government during Budget session through horsetrading.
"I want the people to know the real face of Narendra Modi who is encouraging the state BJP leaders to woo our MLAs. In fact, the Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis is a part of the conspiracy. They are trying to take our MLAs to Mumbai, but we did not let that happen," Kumaraswamy said.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the four rebel Congress MLAs - Ramesh Jarikholi, Mahesh Kumatahali, B Nagendra and Umesh Yadav. They have remained absent from all party meetings and the first two days of the Budget session.
Although Kumaraswamy promises a pro-poor and pro-farmer budget and has already announced a Rs 46,000 crore loan waiver to the agriculture community, BJP, with its 104 MLAs in the 224 seat Karnataka Assembly, is looking to topple the government by reducing the strength of the house through the continued absence of Congress MLAs.
Meanwhile, a few MLAs are back within the Congress fold after they were offered plum postings in various state councils and corporations and will remain present during the Budget session on Friday. Former CM and senior Congress leader, Siddaramiah has asked the other MLAs to remain present in the Budget session today or face expulsion.
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2.37 pm: Rs 23,093 crore earmarked for building the upgraded rail infrastructure in Bengaluru while Rs 50 crore allocated to public transport systems.
2.10 pm: Rs 10,000 crore to be allocated for building elevated corridor in Bengaluru. Karnataka to host mini-Olympic games in 2019 for sportspersons in the age group of 13-15 years.
2:05 pm: Additional excise duty announced on low alcoholic beverages such as beer. Rs 16,000 crore set aside for the development of lakes in Bengaluru which also includes cleaning the pollution hit Varthur and Bellandur lakes in Bengaluru.
1:57 pm: State government to merge two health schemes Ayushman Bharat scheme and Arogya Karnataka scheme, which covers 16,00 medical procedures and will benefit more than 1 crore families. A new cancer hospital to be built in Tumkur district.
1:14 pm: The CM announces major pro-farmer initiatives earmarking Rs5,450 crore as a waiver of farmer loans and packages to horticulturists. The state government allocates Rs 8,015 crore to various Bengaluru developmental projects. Rs1,200 crore announced for the development of various government schools and colleges.
12:58 pm: The CM while continuing his speech says that his government is committed to providing affordable education, which is why nearly 100 new schools have been opened across the state. He said that under the NREGA,10 crore jobs will be provided. The CM says that the Karnataka has already been declared "open defecation free" under the present regime.
12:50 p.m: BJP MLAs led by Yeddyurappa stage a walkout amid speech by Kumaraswamy alleging that the CM is delivering a bundle of lies. The leaders say that they will sit before the Vidhan Souda for not being given them the copies of the Budget.
12:30 pm: Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio begins, his Budget speech amid sloganeering by BJP MLAs. He recognises the role of Karnataka farmers by acknowledging they suffered due to the droughts in the past year which affected 156 taluks( blocks). The government will also build 854 houses for flood-hit people in Kodagu.
12:10 pm: Congress writes to Karnataka Assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar seeking the disqualification of four rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law.
12:00 pm: Congress leader Siddaramiah, while tagging PM Modi in a tweet, said that the audio tape released by Kumaraswamy has exposed the PM's "Niyat"( intention).
Listen to the audio that has exposed your party's 'Niyat', Mr. @narendramodi.
ಮಾಡೋದೆಲ್ಲಾ ಅನಾಚಾರ, ಮನೆ ಮುಂದೆ ಬೃಂದಾವನ
Shame on You!!
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) February 8, 2019
11.30 am: Yeddyurappa has termed the horsetrading allegations of Kumaraswamy as fake and accused the CM of mimicing his voice in the audio. He also said that BJP leaders will not try to disprupt the Budget session but have every right to seek the whereabouts of the missing Congress MLAs.
10.47 am: Senior advocate RLN Murthy has lodged a complaint against BJP leaders Yeddyurappa and MLA Ashwath Narayan for resorting to kidnapping and illegal confinement of MLAs from JD(S) and Congress.
10 am: Kumaraswamy launches a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of being responsible for supporting people with black money. Kumaraswamy said that he can produce proof to substantiate his charges.
The CM has also released an audio in which the opposition leader, BS Yeddyurappa, is allegedly heard telling the revolting Congress MLAs to not remain absent in Friday's Budget session.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy: On one side Narendra Modi is preaching to the country and politicians, on the other side, he is encouraging his friends to demolish democracy through black money. I will expose this now, I have the proof to back my charge. pic.twitter.com/wm1DTjfNSn
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2019
JDS MLA Narayana Gowda: Due to food poisoning, I have been admitted to hospital and doctors are advising to not go out. I couldn't attend the legislative party meet and budget session. But I have informed my leader Kumaraswamy and the Speaker as well.
9:30 am: The Budget 2019 will be presented at 12 pm behind the scheduled time because the coalition government has sought the auspicious period for the same. The BJP accuses the government of following stars and not delivering on the ground.
8:30 am: Kumaraswamy removes rebel MLA Umesh Yadav from the post of Chairman of Warehouse Corporation. He has been replaced by another upset MLA, Pratap Gowda Patil. The CM also appointed other Congress MLAs, including Basaveshwaranagar Daddal and MA Gopalaswamy as the chairman of the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board and the new parliamentary secretary to Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar, respectively.
8 am: JD(S) MLA Narayana Gowda has released a video from a hospital bed pleading his absence on the ground of sickness and said that he has already communicated the same to Kumaraswamy.
"Due to food poisoning, I have been admitted to hospital and doctors are advising to not go out. I couldn't attend the legislative party meet and budget session. But I have informed my leader Kumaraswamy and the Speaker as well," he said.