Only about 50 of the 120 members of the BJP were in attendance

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's resort-politics cast its shadow on the first day of the budget session that commenced on Tuesday as a sizeable number of Bharatiya Janata Party members in both the Houses of the legislature were absent.

However, it was not clear whether all the members who were absent were Mr. Yeddyurappa's followers.

In the Legislative Assembly, only about 50 of the 120 members of the BJP attended the session.

Of the Yeddyurappa loyalists, only two Ministers — C.M. Udasi and Jagadish Shettar, and two members — Chandrakanth Bellada and K Laxminarayana, attended the session.

Those who boycotted the session from the Yeddyurappa camp were Ministers Basavaraj Bommai, Murugesh R. Nirani, Umesh Katti, M.P. Renukacharya, Shobha Karandlaje, V. Somanna, Raju Gowda and Revu Naik Belamagi. Those Ministers who attended the session included S. Suresh Kumar, A. Narayanaswamy, Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, Govind Karjol, Anand Asnotikar, Varthur Prakash (Independent), B.N. Bache Gowda, R. Ashok, S.A. Ramdas, S.A. Ravindranath, Balachandra Jarkiholi and State BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa.

As soon as the House met for the day, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

Claiming that a constitutional crisis had arisen following the boycott of the House proceedings by a large number of Yeddyurappa loyalists, Mr. Siddramaiah said: “The Chief Minister should resign as he has lost the confidence of his Cabinet colleagues and a majority of legislators.”

Council

In the Council too, the absence of a sizeable number of BJP members irked the Opposition.

Of the 39 BJP members in the House, only 22, including Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, were present.

Pointing out that BJP legislators owing allegiance to Mr. Yeddyurappa were at a resort, leader of the Opposition Motamma remarked: “Where is the government? Are the reins of the government in the hands of Mr. Sadananda Gowda or Mr. Yeddyurappa?”

Janata Dal (S) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah also took exception to the absence of the BJP members and said such a situation was a blow to democracy. This irritated the BJP members who insisted that the Opposition should stick to the agenda that had listed obituary reference to the departed leader Acharya.