The Karnataka budget will be presented at around noon today after legislative party meetings by the Congress, JDS and BJP. The Congress issued a whip requiring all its lawmakers to abide by directives, failing which they would be disqualified and banned from contesting polls for the next six years. Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah also directed four dissenting Congress lawmakers to attend a Congress Legislature Party meeting today, warning of action as per the anti-defection law.
Among the beneficiaries of this move are lawmakers Pratap Gowda Patil, Basaveshwaranagar Daddal and MA Gopalaswamy. While Mr Daddal has been appointed as chairman of the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Board, Mr Gopalaswamy is the new parliamentary secretary to Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar.
Disgrunted lawmaker Umesh Jadhav — found to be absenting himself from Congress Legislative Party meetings despite repeated warnings — has been replaced by Mr Patil as the chairman of the Warehouse Corporation.
Mr Kumaraswamy is also scheduled to address the media shortly, before the budget instead of after as usually happens, to likely show the video of JDS lawmaker Narayan Gowda, who won’t be present today.
Mr Gowda, who was earlier said to be missing, is in a hospital in Mumbai.