BENGALURU: The Winter Session of Karnataka Assembly began in Bengaluru on Monday. After a big win in the recent Assembly by-elections, the ruling BJP government is looking confident and trying to push through controversial laws, including a ban on “love jihad” and “cow slaughter”.
The main opposition Congress is a divided house and the recent electoral setbacks have dampened the spirits of its legislators. JDS, the third party in the House, is busy fighting with the Congress, allegedly helping the BJP.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is under fire for favouring his coterie and ignoring the party loyalists, is trying to put up a brave face by giving the impression that all is well and he is in command.
The short session is likely to be stormy because of the ongoing farmers agitation demanding the repeal of farm laws, handling of Covid-19, flood relief, state’s worsening financial conditions and many other issues.
The leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah, has threatened to derail the session if the state government goes ahead with proposed ban on love jihad and cow slaughter.
Speaking to News18 he said that both are unconstitutional and should be opposed. “The BJP government is highly corrupt and a total failure. To cover up their disastrous performance, they are fooling the gullible people with the laws like love jihad, cow slaughter etc. We will oppose both,” he said.
The leader of JDS, HD Kumaraswamy, is keeping quiet on these issues and instead attacking Siddaramaiah for “ruining” the JDS. Siddaramaiah is alleging that he is helping the BJP to stay in power by making baseless charges against him.
The Home minister Basavaraj S Bommai has said that BSY government would move a law to ban love jihad.
The Animal husbandry minister Prabhu Chavan has told the media that a bill to ban cow slaughter will be introduced in the current session.
The newly appointed Karnataka in charge of BJP Arun Singh visited the state, last week and reportedly told Yediyurappa to take everyone into confidence after several MLAs, MLCs, MPs and party functionaries complained to him about CM’s attitude. The opposition Congress is likely to raise this issue in the current session to embarrass the BJP.
There are also talks of an upset BJP high command planning to replace aging Yediyurappa with someone from the RSS cadre. However, the party has officially denied any such developments.
Since the Gram Panchayat elections are scheduled to be held on December 22 and December 27 in two phases, the session is likely to be curtailed even before the schedule.