Congress party legislators have reportedly expressed their displeasure over Chief Minister Siddaramaiah convening meetings of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) merely to fulfil a formality.

Congress party sources said that at the CLP meeting held in Belgaum on Wednesday, the legislators also expressed their reservation over the proposed anti-superstition bill. Karkala MLA K. Gopal Poojari said there was an urgent need for the government to convey that it was studying the pros and cons of the bill.

The Chief Minister was criticised for failing to interact with the legislators on a regular basis. Understanding the mood of the legislators, Mr. Siddaramaiah assured them that he would convene CLP meetings regularly to address their grievances.

Some of the legislators are understood to have expressed their displeasure over the performance of the Ministers, and complained that they were not being taken into confidence. They said the government would have gained the sympathy of the farming community by extending the benefit of rebate on Value Added Tax for sugar and revenue that sugar factories earn from the byproducts to the sugarcane growers.

When Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda tried to explain how the Congress government was more sympathetic towards sugarcane growers, considering the price offered by previous BJP government, a senior legislator reportedly took Mr. Gowda to task, as to why he (Mr. Gowda) did not speak, when the issue was raised in the Assembly on Monday.

It is also said that Mr. Siddaramaiah did not mince words to express his dissatisfaction over the alleged ‘lethargic’ attitude of some of his Cabinet colleagues.

However, according to sources, legislators stood behind Mr. Siddaramaiah’s on the Shaadi Bhagya scheme and asked him not to be swayed by pressure tactics of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is continuing his dharna in the Assembly.

They also suggested that Mr. Siddaramaiah question funds released to various religious institutions during the tenure of Mr. Yeddyurappa, and funds allocated for the construction of a shaadi mahal.

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