Even after the intervention of the Union Home Ministry on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute, the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) is gearing up to hold its annual convention on the border row during the Karnataka Assembly’s winter session at Belagavi on Monday, December 18.
MES members have been sitting in a dharna in front of the commissioner’s office of the Belagavi City Corporation (BCC) seeking permission for the MES Maha Melava.
The party’s annual convention coincides with the inaugural day of Karnataka’s nine-day winter session, which begins on Monday.
The Belagavi city corporation was expected to give permission to the MES’ annual convention on Sunday night.
“The state government is holding a winter session against our interests. The government should not conduct the winter session in Belagavi until the border dispute is sorted out. The Union government should declare Belagavi a Union Territory till the issue is resolved,” MES president Deepak Dalvi told reporters at Belagavi on Sunday.
Shiv Sena leader and Hatkanangale MP Dhairyasheel S Mane has written to the Belagavi district administration seeking police protection to take part in the annual convention organised by the MES.
“I have sought a report from the Belagavi City Police Commissioner and Belagavi SP on the scheduled visit of Shiv Sena MP Mane to the city,” Belagavi DC Nitesh Patil told reporters in the city on Sunday.
According to a police officer, “The police have submitted a report to the district administration. It has been decided to restrict the entry of Maharashtra parliamentarian Mane at the interstate border.”
In the wake of the winter session and the MES’ scheduled annual convention, the police have tightened security across the Belagavi district. Over 5,000 police personnel have been deployed for session duty. The police have also issued prohibitory orders in sensitive areas in the city.
It may be noted that pro-Karnataka activists opposing the MES’ annual convention smeared ink on Dalvi on 13 December, 2021, which was reported on the first day of the winter session in Belagavi last year.
Responding to the MES annual convention, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “The MES has been indulging in such things for the past five decades. The government knows how to control them, and that is being done to keep the MES under check.”
Government to introduce six bills
The Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government is expected to introduce six bills, including the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Reservation Ordinance Replacement bill, during the winter session.
Bommai also told reporters in Haveri on Sunday: “There will be a discussion on problems of North Karnataka during this session.”
Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy told South First, “Among the six bills being introduced in this winter session, two are major bills and four are minor bills of various departments.”
Besides the aforementioned piece of legislation, the other important bill will be on providing legislative powers to the Kannada Development Authority, he added.
Congress ready to attack Bommai government
With the 2023 Assembly polls nearing, the Congress has decided to make full use of the winter session to attack the BJP government in the state over alleged instances of corruption, scams, and poor governance.
The Congress is likely to raise issues such as the Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam, allegations of 40 percent commission demand from the ministers of the BJP government, and voter data theft.
“The priority will be given to the PSI recruitment scam, 40 percent commission, and other major issues that are highlighting the failures of the state government,” KPCC working president and MLC Saleem Ahmed told South First.
HDK prioritises polls over session
JD(S) supremo and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has reportedly asked his party MLAs to concentrate on next year’s assembly polls instead of taking part in the winter session.
In the midst of the winter session, the JD(S) will carry out the Pancharatna Yatra in the districts of South Karnataka.
“The party high command has asked the party leaders — mainly incumbent MLAs — to work on strengthening the party base at the grass-root level instead of taking part in the winter session. It is not a mandatory order. The legislators that have genuine reasons can participate in the winter session,” a JD(S) leader told South First on the condition of anonymity.
With this, the Assembly and Legislative Council are not likely to witness a full-strength this winter session.