A cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over the Shettar ministry ever since Yeddyurappa quit the party to float his KJP in December last as the ministers who resigned and 11 MLAs who are ready to quit are loyalists of the former BJP strongman
Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka on Wednesday plunged into a fresh crisis with two ministers resigning and 11 more members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), all loyal to former party strongman BS Yeddyurappa, deciding to quit their assembly membership, reports PTI.
Hours after public works minister CM Udasi and energy minister Shobha Karandlaje gave their resignations to chief minister Jagadish Shettar, the two along with 11 MLAs went to the assembly speaker’s office to submit their resignation.
As neither speaker KG Bopaiah, who was not in station, nor the assembly legislature secretary Omprakash were present when the MLAs arrived and waited for an hour, an enraged Yeddyurappa rushed there, insisting that the Shettar government had been reduced to a minority.
In a high drama, the agitated MLAs insisted that some official of assembly secretariat either receive their resignation letters or give an acknowledgement that they are not empowered to receive them.
Assembly joint secretary Jayatheertha Galali told the MLAs “as joint secretary I can’t accept it. Please come and submit resignations when th espeaker comes to office”.
Yeddyurappa, who recently floated the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), said: “Shettar government has been reduced to a minority. He has no moral right to continue in office. He should call off his tour, return to the city and resign.”
Yeddyurappa also attacked Bopaiah, who, he said, had been alerted yesterday about the resignation of MLAs, but has left on a tour.
“It is a shameless government. Shettar should meet the governor and tender resignation of his government”, he said.
“We will tell the governor that this government cannot continue in office as it has been reduced to a minority”.
Shettar, who left on an official tour in parts of
Udasi said they have been hurt by the attitude of Shettar towards MLAs and ministers supporting Yeddyurappa, adding, the time has come to build KJP.
A cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over the Shettar ministry ever since Yeddyurappa quit the party to float his KJP in December last. The former BJP strongman has repeatedly put the government on notice about their stability, claiming support of 20-30 BJP MLAs.
Yeddyurappa’s party had set two deadlines earlier to unseat the government but they turned out to be damp squibs.
Brushing aside the threats to his government, Shettar has said he would present the state budget on 8th February, the last ahead of assembly polls due in May.
The MLAs who have offered to quit are CM Udasi, Nehru Olekar, Thippeswamy, BP Harish, H Halappa, Suresh Gowda Patil, Shobha Karandlaje, SI Chikkangoudar, Suresh, G Shivanna, Chandrappa, VS Patil and Basavaraj Patil Attur.
Rajnath Singh emerged as the consensus candidate last night after Gadkari dramatically opted out of the race for a second term. He takes the baton back from Gadkari whom he handed it over in 2009
The 61-year-old senior party leader from Uttar Pradesh takes the baton back from Nitin Gadkari whom he handed over the post in 2009.
Singh, who emerged as the consensus candidate last night after Gadkari dramatically opted out of the race for a second term, was the only candidate to file the nominations and was declared elected unopposed.
Gadkari was among the first ones to wish the new party president soon after the announcement by election officer Thawar Chand Gehlot in the presence of top party leaders including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.
Gadkari, whose candidature was being pushed strongly by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), suddenly quit the race in the midst of allegations of impropriety by his company Purti Group.
After taking over, Rajnath Singh said, “I accept this not as a post, but as a responsibility” and said he would take the battle to a decisive end by bringing the BJP to power.
He said he was taking over in not very conducive conditions in the wake of allegations levelled against the outgoing chief Nitin Gadkari.
Singh said though the party wanted Gadkari to continue as party president for a second term, but he took a moral high by deciding not to contest for a second term till his name was cleared of all charges.
The new Chief exuded confidence of steering the party in the forthcoming assembly elections in various states later this year and expressed the hope to see formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime led by BJP in the next general elections.
The Kerala government, earlier this month, replaced the “Defined benefit based” pension scheme by the “Defined contribution based” pension scheme. State government employees went on a six-day strike to protest against the new scheme, which was introduced without taking the employees’ views into consideration
The six-day old strike by state government staff and teachers in Kerala, which was called off on 14th January, was the first serious agitation against replacement of the “Defined benefit based” pension scheme in government service by the “Defined contribution based” pension scheme, through the back door. As all strikes so far by government employees in India, the calling off was just a face-saving compromise, without much result to report home. Still, the issues the strike successfully brought to surface and the eagerness of the state government to somehow get back the employees for work, makes the six-day strike a cause for a re-look at the New Pension System. It was introduced by the Centre for central government employees, excluding majority of defence employees from 2004, legislative support for which is still ‘hanging’. Kerala finance minister KM Mani reportedly had negotiations with employees’ representatives till 12.40am on 13th January night which was followed with a wrap-up discussion between employees’ leaders and chief minister Oomen Chandy which lasted till 1.40am the next day.
There was broad understanding between the government and employees on the following:
Whatever be the arguments in defence of the CPS, a time-tested social security arrangement, available to a section of employees, is being dismantled without any credible alternative system in place. When one refers to social security arrangement, one has in mind all pensionary benefits including family pension. While in the private sector and profit-making public sector undertakings, employees have an opportunity to bargain and settle remunerations based on their skill and market realities, government employees and those employed in quasi-government and statutory bodies are a helpless lot, whose bargaining power is stifled in the name of public interest. It is in this context that they deserve special treatment, at least in respect of social security arrangements like pensionary benefits. The cost savings for the Government of Kerala, if any, will accrue only from the date of retirement of the first employee who joins after 31 March 2013. Till such time, there will be an additional outgo to the extent of the employer’s contribution to the fund in respect of employees joining service from 1 April 2013.
As for the central scheme, NPS has not been made applicable to defence employees who constitute a major proportion of central government employees.
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(MG Warrier is a freelancer based in Thiruvananthapuram.)