Karnataka LIVE: HDK announces scheme to provide low-interest loans to farmers; proposes additional excise duty on beer

In a dramatic turn of events, BJP MLAs led by BS Yeddyurappa staged a walkout from the Karnataka Legislative Assembly as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy began his Budget 2019 speech. The BJP leaders accused the government of intentionally not delivering them the copies of the Budget. 

The CM had earlier released an audio tape alleging that Yeddyurappa had offered Rs 25 lakh and a ministerial berth to a JD(S) MLA. 

Kumaraswamy also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of masterminding the plan to topple the Karnataka government during Budget session through horsetrading.

“I want the people to know the real face of Narendra Modi who is encouraging the state BJP leaders to woo our MLAs. In fact, the Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis is a part of the conspiracy. They are trying to take our MLAs to Mumbai, but we did not let that happen,” Kumaraswamy said.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the four rebel Congress MLAs – Ramesh Jarikholi, Mahesh Kumatahali, B Nagendra and Umesh Yadav. They have remained absent from all party meetings and the first two days of the Budget session.

Although Kumaraswamy promises a pro-poor and pro-farmer budget and has already announced a Rs 46,000 crore loan waiver to the agriculture community, BJP, with its 104 MLAs in the 224 seat Karnataka Assembly, is looking to topple the government by reducing the strength of the house through the continued absence of Congress MLAs.

Meanwhile, a few MLAs are back within the Congress fold after they were offered plum postings in various state councils and corporations and will remain present during the Budget session on Friday. Former CM and senior Congress leader, Siddaramiah has asked the other MLAs to remain present in the Budget session today or face expulsion.