Amidst raging border dispute with neighboring Maharashtra and nearly five months to go for assembly elections in Karnataka, the winter session of the state legislature will begin on Monday at the ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’ in Belagavi.
This will be the last session of the present BJP government in the northern district headquarters city bordering Maharashtra.
The session is crucial for the administration led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai as only the joint session and the budget session will be left before the elections are announced. Elections are likely to be held by April-May 2023.
The 10-day session, which will continue till December 30, is likely to be a stormy one as both the ruling party and the opposition are seen attacking and countering each other on several issues.
The government is likely to be cornered on issues such as alleged corruption by opposition parties and scams in various departments, voter data theft scandal, border dispute and its handling by the government, law and order situation with incidents of communal flare-ups and cooker explosions. Mangaluru, farmers’ demands including increase in Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane.
With the elections nearing, the opposition parties are likely to target the government on the issue of governance, “unfulfilled” promises made in the manifesto before the 2018 elections, and inundation due to torrential rains and inundation especially in many urban areas. The infrastructure crisis in Bangalore was caused by them.
With the BJP government’s decision to increase reservation for Scheduled Castes from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes from 3 per cent to 7 per cent, it is yet to be ring-fenced under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, as it over reservation. The opposition, especially the Congress, is likely to raise the issue of the 50 per cent limit set by the Supreme Court.
Reservation demands by various communities such as the Panchamasalis and Vokkaligas are likely to be raised by members of both the opposition and ruling parties; Also, the issue of internal reservation among Scheduled Castes is also likely to come up for discussion.
The ruling BJP is also planning to take on the opposition, especially the Congress, which is trying to capitalize on statements by its leaders to “trivialize” the Mangaluru pressure cooker blast and “anti-Hindu” comments.
Karnataka PCC president DK Shivakumar has made a statement that appears to suggest that the Mangaluru pressure cooker blast was staged by the BJP government to divert attention from the voter data theft scam, while its working president Satish Jarkiholi recently commented on the origin is of. The word Hindu and its “dirty meaning”.
The alleged factionalism within the Congress, especially the one-upmanship game between Shivakumar and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, is likely to be used by the BJP to take a dig at the main opposition party.
Due to the session being held in the North Karnataka region, there is a possibility of separate discussion on the issues here.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has said that six bills are likely to be discussed during the session.
Of the six draft laws to be brought up for discussion and approval, four are new. Two bills, including the Kannada Comprehensive Development Bill, have already been introduced in the last session in Bengaluru.
Moreover, the session is being held amid the raging border dispute with a lawsuit filed by Maharashtra triggering a possible hearing on the issue in the Supreme Court.
The row had intensified over the past few weeks amid a tense atmosphere in Belagavi, with vehicles from both sides being targeted, leaders from both states weighing in, and Kannada and Marathi activists being detained by the police. Was.
Maharashtra lays claim to Belagavi and some nearby places.
In a move to defuse the border tension, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of both the states on 14 December to set up a six-member joint ministerial panel to resolve issues related to them and any claims to the border. asked not to. The Supreme Court has given its verdict on the dispute.
Belagavi, bordering Maharashtra, has been hosting legislature sessions once a year since 2006.
Nine winter sessions have been held in Belagavi in 16 years. Seven of them were kept inside Suvarna Soudha and two outside.
The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modeled on the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in Bengaluru, was built as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of Karnataka.
Apart from the session held once a year for about two weeks, the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha building remains mostly unused.
It has been a long-standing demand of the people of North Karnataka that some government offices be shifted to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, with an aim to remove the regional imbalance and for the benefit of the citizens of the regions, who would otherwise have to go to Bengaluru.
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