Winter session of K'taka assembly: Belagavi to witness mammoth protest rallies
Belagavi, Dec 6 : The Belagavi winter session of Karnataka Assembly is set to begin here on Tuesday and a number of parties, including the state BJP, are gearing up to lay siege to the Suvarna Soudha.
"Around 50,000 BJP workers will storm the Suvarna Soudha to highlight the failure of the Siddaramaiah government in the state", BS Yeddyuarappa, former chief minister and present vice president of state BJP told Oneindia News.
Around 6,000 police and security personnel have been deployed in the area to ensure law and order, what with dozens of organisations have planned protest meetings in the premises. The Karnataka police has also formed an 'anti-suicide-squad' to prevent any suicide attempts by the protesters.
On the first day of the session, 9th Dec, around 26 organizations, political and non-political, will be holding protests in Belagavi, said sources. Farmers cultivating sugarcane, grape and cotton will stage protests demanding better prices for their products.
Madiga Dandora Samiti, a section of scheduled castes in the state, will stage massive protest demanding additional reservations for their community in jobs and education fields. 20,000 strong members of the Samiti will gather as a show of strength said organizers.
The Karnataka BJP alleged that the government failed to protect the interests of farmers in the state.. In the previous winter assembly session in 2013, the government had promised Rs 2650 per tonne as Minimum Support Price for sugar cane. However, the same rate has not been paid by the sugar factories, said the BJP.
The farmers from down south Chamarajnagar, Mysore are planning to join the North Karnataka sugarcane farmers' protest. The grinding season for sugarcane has just begun. (Read more here: Sugarcane Cultivation in India: Conditions, Production and Distribution )
Also, the BJP will demand resignation of five tainted ministers in the cabinet - Dinesh Gundu Rao, minister for food and civil supplies, who is allegedly involved in many land scams, Home minister KJ George, for the government's inability to control increasing number crimes against women in the state, Mahadeva Prasad, minister for Cooperation, who is involved in residential site scam in Mysore, Khamarulla Islam, minister for wakf board and DK Sivakumar, minister for power, both for alleged involvement in land scams.
Simultaneously, the Karnataka Congress is also planning to hold a massive rally in Belagavi on Sunday, December 21. The Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi likely to take part in the rally, said Party sources.
Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, a majestic building, which was built here in 2012, at a cost of Rs 380 Cr, is used as a venue of winter session every year. For the rest of the days in the year, the Soudha lies unused.
It was built in Belagavi to establish Karnataka's supremacy over the district which is often a bone of contention between Maharashtra and Karnataka.
However, there is a lot of hue and cry in the state that a lot of money is being wasted by the state government by holding the session outside Bengaluru. In 2013, government spent Rs 17 Cr for the 12-day session. However, this time the government is ensuring that the session is held in an austere manner. said Om Prakash, Secretary, Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The Karnataka Assembly has 224 members of which, 121 belongs to Congress, 40 BJP, 40 JDS and others 21.
The Janata Dal (Secular), one of the opposition parties in the state, held a meeting in Bengaluru in Friday to chalk out its strategy during the 12-day session. The party has decided to take on the governments for its failure, on the floor of the house.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) has planned a mammoth mahamela in Belagavi on Dec 9, opening day of the winter session.
The MES has sought permission for the mela from the deputy collector and district police superintendent. "Decision to allow the mela will be taken in a day or two", Deputy Commisisioner S Ravi, told Oneindia. As a retaliatory move, the Karnataka Navanirmana Sene has said that permission should not be given to MES. However, Bhaskar Rao, IGP Northern range, ruled out permission for MES rally, saying " Why on 9th Dec, they can convene some other day?"
Belagavi, the education and business hub in North Karnataka, is one of the major two tier cities. During the 12-day session, the city is expecting at least 9,000 visitors, including police force, MLAs, MLCs, bureaucrats and media. Rooms in all the 26 prominent hotels in the city have been sold out.