‘Shettar government has lost the moral right to continue in office’

Union Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan has said the BJP government’s decision to present a full-fledged budget was against the spirit of the Constitution.

Addressing a joint press conference here on Sunday along with Union Labour and Employment Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee G. Parameshwara and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, Mr. Khan, who has had a long innings as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said if they (State government) have any respect for the Constitution they should not present a full-fledged budget.

Vote-on-account

When elections were round the corner, no government would present a full-fledged budget. The government would only seek a vote-on-account to meet the immediate expenditure and allow the new government to present the budget, Mr. Khan said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said “The Jagadish Shettar government has lost the moral right to continue in office as it has been reduced to a minority, with more than 14 legislators of the BJP aligning themselves with B.S. Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Paksha.

He said the Chief Minister should have resigned immediately after a section of the BJP MLAs aligned themselves with Mr. Yeddyurappa and recommended dissolution of the Assembly.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Shettar is still claiming that he is heading a majority government and has declared that he will go ahead with presenting the budget,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah and Dr. Parameshwara charged Mr. Yeddyurappa with holding out empty threats of toppling the Shettar government only to blackmail the Chief Minister.

“If Mr. Yeddyurappa is sincere about what he is saying, he should approach Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and give a representation to the effect that the MLAs supporting him had withdrawn their support to the Shettar government.”

When asked if the Congress would demand a division on the Finance Bill in the event of Mr. Shettar presenting the budget, Mr. Siddaramaiah gave broad indications that the Congress would not oppose the Finance Bill stating that the defeat of the Bill would deprive the government of funds.

Asked about Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje’s statement on law and order situation and how women were not safe in the Chief Minister’s constituency itself, Mr. Siddaramaiah shot back saying, “I don’t know why Ms. Karandlaje’s is not saying anything on the fact that a person facing rape charge is associated with Mr. Yeddyurappa… she should have asked Mr. Yeddyurappa to disassociate himself from the MLA who is facing the rape charge.”

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