Will BSY present 'farmer-friendly' budget?

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Bangalore, Jul 16: The BJP Government in Karnataka will present its maiden Budget for 2008-09 in the State Assembly on Thursday, July 17marking the beginning of a 11-day session which is expected to be stormy.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who holds the finance portfolio, would table the Budget at 1200 hrs when the Session begins. Mr Yeddyurappa had presented two Budgets when he was the Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister during the previous BJP-JD (S) Coalition Government. The Session is expected to be stormy as Opposition parties are up in arms against the ruling party's attempt to ''lure'' members of Opposition parties to secure a majority in the House.

Five Legislators, three from Congress and two from the JD(S), had already joined the saffron party quitting the membership of the Assembly.

Three of them were offered ministerial posts, while another was made the Slum Clearance Board Chairman.

Mr Yeddyurappa, who held consultations with a cross-section of the people, including representatives of trade and industry and farmers, was expected to announce free power supply for farmers.

Fertiliser supply, monsoon failure and Opposition demand for drought relief works are also likely to come up for debate.

Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar had said the government would introduce two Bills, including an Amendment Bill to set up Horticulture University in the State.

The members had also sought answers for as many as 370 questions from the State Government.

The Karnataka Legislative Council, in which the ruling party is a minority, would also meet from tomorrow.

The Congress and the JD(S) were likely to exert pressure on the ruling party to hold elections to the posts of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Council which are lying vacant.

Senior JD(S) Member N Thippanna is the acting Chairman of the Council.

UNI

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