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2 killed as Karnataka MLA CT Ravi's car hits another in Tumkur district
Two people were killed in a collision between two cars near Kunigal town in Tumkur district of Karnataka last night (February 18). In one of the cars, Bharatiya Janata Party Karnataka general secretary CT Ravi was travelling.

The deceased were returning from Kollur Temple in Udipi to Bengaluru. They were urinating on the side of the road when CT Ravi's car hit them and their car.

Four others, including CT Ravi and his driver, were also injured in the accident.

CT Ravi, an MLA from Chikmagalur, was sitting on the left seat. He sustained minor injuries on the chest as he hit the car's dashboard in the accident. He was later discharged from the hospital.

Karnataka BJP media convener S Shantharaman said, "CT Ravi was present at the accident spot till the bodies were taken care of and the injured shifted to a hospital. He left the place only after the police permitted him and the car was taken for further investigation."

S Shantharaman said that CT Ravi was not driving the car, neither does he have any drinking problems.

Friends of the victims claimed that CT Ravi, along with the driver, should be held responsible for the accident.

The driver is currently admitted in the hospital. He will be taken into custody later.

A case in the matter has been registered at Kunigal Police Station under Sections 279, 336 and 304A of IPC.

News source: https://www.indiatoday.in
Pulwama terror attack: Braveheart from Mandya among martyred CRPF jawans
BENGALURU: A CRPF jawan, H Guru, a native of Mandya district in Karnataka was martyred in the terrorist attack on the force's convoy in Kashmir on Thursday.

Guru, son of Honnayya from Gudigere village in Maddur taluk of the district, was among the over 2,500 jawans travelling in the convoy that was attacked.

He had joined the paramilitary force 7-8 years ago and was deployed in Jharkhand before being posted in Kashmir.

Guru had married just six months back and had recently constructed a home.

He was returning to Srinagar from Jammu after completing his leave. He had joined duty on Sunday, February 10.

Guru had spoken to his mother on phone at noon, hours before the attack. His wife Kalavati was informed about Guru's death in the evening.

News source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Bengaluru: Hidden portions of audio recording of Operation Lotus leaked
Bengaluru, Feb 13: Karnataka chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy, had released only a part of the audio to expose the designs of opposition leader, B S Yeddyurappa, to lure legislator from Gurmitkal, Naganagouda Kandkur, to join him. Parts of the audio which had not been released by the chief minster have since been available.

Yeddyurappa is heard in the video advising the MLA's son, Sharanagouda, to seek police protection, duly giving the reason to the police that he wants to resign. "The speaker cannot escape from accepting the resignation. During the period the session is on, the speaker would be available, and he has no other option but to accept it. Only one rule that he can press for is that the letter is to be handed over by the MLA himself personally. There is no other condition governing it," Yeddyurappa is heard saying.

Shivanagouda Nayak, MLA of Devadurga, agrees that the speaker is obliged to accept it in 24 hours. He is heard asking Sharanagouda to convince his father to agree to resign, and leave the rest for Yeddyurappa to do. "Once you are mentally prepared, I will speak to Vijayanna. Now you can seek blessings from Yeddyurappa. Another point is that Lingayats should be happy to make one among them the chief minister. Why clinging on to Kumaraswamy from Ramanagara and Hassan?" Shivanagouda is heard commenting.

Yeddyurappa: Mostly the people here are non Lingayat. There is no problem in executing our plan. We would never have invited you and discussed the matter if there was no workable plan. Let your father be here. After you convince him, you can come to Mumbai on your own. Once a total of 15 legislators come together, we can come here. You can come with your father then and tender resignation. Your father need not even come to Mumbai.

Shivanagouda: You have a glimpse of plan. I will speak to him thereafter. You can go ahead without any hesitation. We are with you. One should be able to show courage to move forward. Our leader is with you and we are with you. Our leader is known for not breaking his promises. A person of his stature who abides by his words is rarely seen in political field.

The full text of the audio is expected to be raised in the assembly session and it promises to give rise to another round of ruckus.

News source: https://www.daijiworld.com
Karnataka Speaker Compares Himself To Rape Survivor Amid Controversy Over Audio Clip
BENGALURU — Karnataka assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar Tuesday compared himself to a rape survivor having to undergo repeated questioning as he referred to repeated charges against him being part of the controversial audio tapes, over which government has announced an SIT.

The speaker made the intervention during the discussions in the assembly over the Special Investigation Team probe into an audio clip showing BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa in a purported conversation to lure a JD(S) MLA in his alleged attempt to topple the Congress-JDS government.

The Speaker, pointing to repeated reference to charges against him, said his “situation was like that of a rape victim, as they too are supposedly questioned about the incident repeatedly.”

The stand-off between the government and opposition continued in the assembly Tuesday over an SIT probe into the audio clip.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday had announced a comprehensive SIT probe into the audio clip.

He had accepted an “advice” by an emotional Speaker to constitute the Special Investigation Team to probe the episode to “establish the truth” as his name has also been dragged with the charge that he had been “booked” for Rs 50 crore.

The Speaker called for a meeting of floor leaders on Wednesday to resolve the issue, as the BJP stuck to its strong opposition to the SIT, saying it could be used for “political vengeance.”

He decided to convene the meeting at the end of the day long discussion on the issue for the second consecutive day in the Assembly, with both the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and opposition BJP refusing to budge from their positions.

“Lets discuss and try to find a solution,” the Speaker announced as he adjourned the assembly proceedings to Wednesday morning.

The Speaker’s decision came after Yeddyurappa, the leader of the opposition, pointed out that no effort was made by the Chair to seek the opinion of the opposition before deciding on the investigation agency to inquire into the case.

“SIT is being imposed upon us forcefully,” he said.

Yeddyurappa expressed apprehensions about the SIT as it comes under the Chief Minister and said he was firm on his stand to quit politics if it was proved he was present during conversations between the persons in the audio on a “Rs 50 crore offer to book” the Speaker, as alleged by Kumaraswamy.

Accusing the Chief Minister of hatching a conspiracy against him by “twisting facts”, he said Kumaraswamy has released the audio partially, to save his seat.

The BJP has objected to the SIT and insisted on constituting a House committee or a judicial probe. They also saId that the probe cannot be conducted by an agency that is under the Chief Minister as he too was a party in the case.

The political war over charges of horse-trading had escalated in Karnataka on Friday with Kumaraswamy releasing the audio clip.

As the House met for the day, opposition members requested the Chair to reconsider the decision to hand over the probe to the SIT.

Several BJP members, including Yeddyurappa, demanded a probe by house committee or judicial inquiry into the matter.

Kumaraswamy had said that during the purported conversation that there was a mention about a “Rs 50 crore offer to book” the Speaker to give a ruling in favour of MLAs who might resign to help the BJP bring down his government.

Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar alleged that Kumaraswamy was behind the audio conversation as he was the one who sent Sharan Gouda, son of the MLA Naganagouda, who was being lured and he also heard the conversation between the two individuals via a conference call.

“So the CM is the offender, he is the first accused in the case,” he said.

Another senior BJP member Madhu Swamy, questioning the constitution of the SIT, said the probe report can only be submitted to court by the SIT and not to the government or the Chair.

Kumaraswamy expressed surprise about being called A1 by BJP in the case and said that since the leader of the opposition and other members have called him accused, “at least to punish me, a comprehensive inquiry has to happen.”

Hitting out at BJP for suspecting political vengeance on the part of the government and its officials, he asked “did I direct Yeddyurappa and others in the way they did?”

Claiming to enjoy the complete confidence of Congress and JD(S) MLAs, Kumaraswamy spoke of the need to amend the anti-defection law and said if an elected MLA resigns, he should not be allowed to contest elections for five years.

“Such a permanent change has to be brought in,” he said.

Stating that he was also ready for a discussion on the alleged 2014 video CD about the cash for vote allegedly involving him, which was raised by the BJP, the chief minister said he would abide by the Speakers advice on constituting an SIT to probe the audio clip.

The political slugfest broke out as Kumaraswamy on Friday claimed there were two audio clips of recorded telephonic conversation between Yeddyurappa and Sharan Gouda.

News source: https://www.huffingtonpost.in
Rebel MLAs from Karnataka Congress return to Bengaluru; claim 'it was all miscommunication'
Bengaluru: Putting an end to the political crisis in Karnataka, five rebel MLAs returned to Bengaluru last night. At least three MLAs have talked to the media and cleared the air over their absence. Cabinet minister in Karnataka government Zameer Ahmed Khan said that party high-command will decide the fate of the 4 dissenting MLAs and added that decision to disqualify them has been taken in the CLP meeting and a letter has already been given to Governor Vajubhai Vala.

Khan accused the BJP of leading them astray from their path and said that they have now realised that the path they had chosen was a wrong one and that they will have to suffer on that path.

Talking to ANI, Karnataka Congress MLA Mahesh Kumathalli said that he had small issues with Congress leaders and clarified that there was some miscommunication. Saying that he was not satisfied with some of the party decisions he further added that he has returned as this is a budget session.

Another disgruntled Karnataka Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav also accepted that he had small issues with party leaders in his constituency. “I will discuss those issues separately. Mallikarjun Kharge is a big leader and I can’t speak anything against them. I'll speak at an appropriate time. I have come to attend the budget session,” he said.

Meanwhile, JD(S) MLA Narayana Gowda claimed that the BJP can never purchase him and added that he can bring 10 BJP MLAs if he wants. The MLA further claimed that he was admitted in hospital after food poisoning and said that he had hospital bills to prove that he is not lying. MLA Ramesh Jharkiholi who had been incommunicado for the past few days also returned to Bengaluru last night.

News source: https://www.timesnownews.com
Kumaraswamy’s audio tape allegations: Yeddyurappa admits he met Gurmitkal MLA’s son
Mr. Yeddyurappa said he was ready to face any inquiry pertaining to the audio clips.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa, who earlier rubbished the audio clips released by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy as mimicry, took a U-turn on Sunday and admitted that he did meet Sharanagouda, son of JD(S) MLA from Gurmitkal Naganagouda Kandkur.

Speaking to the press persons at Hubballi Airport, Mr. Yeddyurappa however accused Mr. Kumaraswamy of writing the script for the recording.

"Kumaraswamy is indulging in third grade politics. It is true that I met Shankargouda. Kumaraswamy sent the MLA's son to me to make me speak according to their requirements and then used whatever was useful to them. But they have covered up few truths", he alleged.

Mr. Yeddyurappa then referred to the earlier statement of Prajwal Revanna about 'suitcase culture' in JD(S) and said the clip pertaining Mr. Kumaraswamy's demand for money for giving MLC post would be released on Monday. Mr. Yeddyurappa said he was ready to face any inquiry pertaining to the audio clips.

Mr. Kumaraswamy on Friday had released two audio tapes allegedly of the BJP State president trying to lure JD(S) MLA with the promise of money and position.

News source : https://www.thehindu.com
HD Kumaraswamy A "Punching Bag": PM Modi's Jibe At Karnataka Coalition
Hubbali, Karnataka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was becoming a "punching bag", as he took a swipe at the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state. Calling the coalition "helpless", PM Modi predicted a similar model for the country if the opposition came into power at the centre.

Addressing a rally at Hubbali, PM Modi said there was not even a single day "when the country doesn't see the natak (drama) of the government", as he launched BJP's campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in the party's north Karnataka stronghold.

PM Modi's visit comes amid the political turmoil in the state, with the BJP being accused of trying to dislodge the coalition government.

News source : https://www.ndtv.com

Karnataka budget 2019-20: Highlights
*Grant of Rs 40 crore for the work of laying of pipeline for utilizing 40 M.L.D water being carried to Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board under K.C. Valley project

*Action of operationalisation of Bidar airport. Rs 32 crore grant for construction of new terminal building in the year 2019-20

*A grant of Rs 100 crore to construct security barriers across the tanks, canals and other water bodies existing beside the roads in the state to prevent accidents

*Development of 7,940 km length of roads at a cost of 10,000 crore under SHDP. Work of improvement and up-gradation of

roads and bridges at a total cost of Rs 5,690 crore. Completion of 1,317 small bridges in Malnad and coastal districts

*Construction of Peripheral Ring Road with an estimated cost of Rs 17,200 crore and Rs 1,000 crore in the year 2019-20

*Metro line from Central Silk Board junction to the Outer Ring Road-Airport via K R Puram via Hebbal at a cost of Rs 16,579 crore

*Construction of pedestrian flyover in Yeshwanthapur and metro rail stations

*Commuter’s card for metro and BMTC, converting 3 coach into 6 coaches of 50 trains, charging facility to two wheeler e-vehicles in 10 metro stations, small capacity buses from BMTC in 10 selected Metro stations to provide last mile connectivity

*Sub-urban rail services in Bengaluru at a total estimated cost of Rs 23,093 crore; a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Bengaluru Rail Infrastructure Development Entity (B-RIDE) under State and Central Government partnership

*Rs 50 crore for implementation of a comprehensive mobility scheme; priority for public transport and stabilization. Grant to increase the number of buses in BMTC

*Action to establish an e-Governance Cell in Administrative Training Institute, Mysuru and in all district training institutes

*Grant of Rs 1 crore for a special program to promote feature films in Tulu, Kodava and Konkani

*Development of Kodava Community Hockey stadium at Balugoda in Virajpet at a cost of Rs 5 crore

*Grant of Rs 10 crore for the overall development of Kodava community

Grant of Rs 5 crore for providing systematic facilities and upgradation of Urban Haat for the artisans in Mysuru through Jagadguru Shree Suttur Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji Mutt

*Establishment of state level training centre for all workers of Department of Women and Child Welfare at Ballari and divisional level training centres at Mysuru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi and Chitradurga in Bengaluru division; allocation of Rs 5 crore

*Upgradation of Chikkamagaluru district hospital as Super Specialty Hospital with grant of Rs 50 crore

*New technological university to come up in Hassan

*Establishment of well equipped language skill training centres in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi and Kalaburgi divisions in the name of Alur Venkatarao at a cost of Rs 2 crore to improve language teaching methodology

*Grant of Rs 13 crore for tank filling works of 8 tanks of through lift irrigation from Tunga river flowing near Hole Hasanavadi village in Shivamogga

*Grant of Rs 100 crore for water filling works for the tanks in the limits of Balaghatta Gram Panchayathi in Pandavapura taluk

*Expenditure of Rs 638 crore under Ksheera Bhagya scheme for school going children and Rs 405 crore for Anganawadi children

*Incentive to milk producers increase from Rs 5 per litre to Rs 6 per litre at a cost of Rs 1,459 crore

*Rs 125 crore grant for Shivamogga city

*Rs 150 crore grant for Mysuru city

*Creation of new taluks in Harohalli of Ramanagar district, Chelur in Chikkaballapur district, Terdal in Bagalakot district and Kalasa in Chikkamagalur district

*Rs 60 crore grant in the year 2019-20 for various mutts and religious institutes

*A grant of Rs 5 crore for the comprehensive development of historical Melukote by constituting the Melukote Development Authority

*Increased subsidy for pilgrimage to Manasa Sarovara to Rs 30,000/-

*A grant of Rs 2 crore for constitution of Kodagu Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Development Authority

News source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
Karnataka crisis: Case of the four missing MLAs
BENGALURU: For over a month now, the four assembly constituencies of Athani, Gokak, Chincholi and Bellari (Rural) have been in a “vacuum”, what with their public representatives “missing in action” while pursuing political and personal gain. Development work has come to a standstill and there is no redressal system in these segments.

A cross-section of voters in these constituencies told TOI they felt betrayed by the actions of their representatives, who were voted on Congress tickets. Reports suggest the four plan to quit and join the BJP and the moot question is whether the quartet will show up for the legislature session commencing on February 6.

News source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Demanding Alcohol Ban, Thousands Of Women March In Karnataka
About 4,000 women from across Karnataka have been marching for days, demanding a complete ban on production and sale of alcohol.

They came in thousands, from their villages in north Karnataka, walking all the way to Bengaluru. Wearing traditional saris, women who have suffered due to alcohol abuse by family members, made the long journey of over 200 km on foot to ask the state government to ban alcohol.
Wednesday morning, the women gathered in Malleswaram in the capital city. Ambika, a young woman from Ballari, now a part of the campaign said she had been regularly beaten by her drunken husband. She told NDTV."I have been suffering at the hands of my husband. He drinks every day, he is violent to me and keeps threatening me. I am dying as I live."

"I have come to protest with these women - and I will protest with them till I die. I am ready to die for this. I want to live independently. All these women are witness to what my husband did to me," she added.

Swarna Bhat, one of the chief organisers of the march told NDTV that about 4,000 women from all over Karnataka participated in the march. "We want complete prohibition - of production, sale and consumption of alcohol. Not a single politician has come to see us. This is disrespect to this big women's protest."

The women did get support from some prominent citizens in Bengaluru. Freedom fighter, HS Doreswamy, 100, makes it a point to support many social causes - and he was there to speak to the women. Theatre personality and actor, Arundhati Nag, was also deeply impressed by the spirit of the rural women. She told NDTV,"I think this just shows us how impotent urban women are. We take so long to react. Look at them. What must the pain of these thousands of women be that they have left their homes ten days ago, come walking and eating just two meals a day, sleeping in grounds. They are not going to have an easy time when they get back home. Their husbands are not going to spare them. But they have come out. It shakes you up."

News source: https://www.ndtv.com/karnataka-news/
Karnataka Congress Wants Priyanka Gandhi to Fight from Chikmagalur, Place of Indira's Political Re-birth
In an ironic development a day after George Fernandes’ death, the Chikmagalur and Udupi Congress committee has asked Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Chikmagalur-Udupi Lok Sabha seat in the coming election. Forty one years ago, her grandmother Indira Gandhi had won from Chikmagalur in a by-election. Fernandes was the chief campaigner against Indira Gandhi in that election.

Chikmagalur, the Coffee bowl of India, and the coastal district Udupi were separate Lok Sabha seats till 2004 Parliament election. After the delimitation of constituencies, they were merged in 2009.

The seat is currently held by BJP’s firebrand leader Shobha Karandlaje and the Congress wants to wrest the seat this time riding on Priyanka wave. They argue that Indira Gandhi’s win from Chikmagalur had re energised the Congress which was out of power in 1977 for its Emergency excesses and the same story will be repeated if her granddaughter contests from the same seat.

Ruben Moses, district Congress spokesperson, said, “We want to create Congress wave again. We are so happy that Priyanka Gandhi has joined the party as a general secretary. If she agrees to enter the Parliament from Chikmagalur, we would be so happy”.

He also added that Priyanka can create history and it will bring the Congress back to power both at the Centre and the state. The Congress won Chikmagalur in 1991 and Udupi in 1999.

Priyanka Gandhi’s official entry into politics has enthused a lot of Congress workers in Karnataka. In fact, Karnataka was one of the first states to demand her entry into politics way back in 1999.

Both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi had made their first appearance at a Congress rally in Bellary. Their mother and newly appointed Congress president Sonia Gandhi had contested her first election from Bellary and Amethi in 1999. Her children had campaigned extensively for Sonia Gandhi in Bellary. After winning from both, Sonia had resigned from Bellary.

News source: https://www.news18.com/
Control your MLAs, or I will quit: Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy warns Congress
Rift in Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka is getting wider as Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today threatened to step down if Congress MLAs continue to attack him. Reacting on a yesterday event, when some MLAs of Siddaramiah camp hailed him as their CM, agitated Kumaraswamy said that they are crossing the line and if it will continue like this, he will step down for the post of Chief Minister.

When asked about the 'Congress MLAs' statement that Siddaramaiah is their leader', Kumaraswamy said: "Congress MLAs say Siddaramaiah is their leader. Congress leaders have to watch all that issues, I'm not the concerned person for it. If they want to continue with it, I am ready to step down."

"They are crossing the line. Congress must control their MLAs," he said.

News Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com
Brawl incident: Police on look out for MLA Ganesh says home minister Patil
Police are on the lookout for "absconding" Congress MLA J N Ganesh, who is facing a case of attempt to murder for allegedly assaulting his lawmaker colleague Anand Singh during a brawl at private resort here on Saturday night, Home Minister M B Patil said Wednesday.

He said Ganesh, who has been suspended from the Congress, would "not be spared" and would be arrested at the earliest. "No one is above the law. Already an FIR has been lodged. The party (Congress) also has taken disciplinary action by suspending him. Police and our department are doing theirduty...we are looking out," Patil told reporters here.

He said Ganesh not having been arrested till now did not mean they "are sitting quiet" and added, "I want to make it clear that there is no interference by anyone. The government and Home Department are under no pressure.

Our department is taking necessary steps. We will not spare him, we will arrest him (Ganesh) at the earliest," he added.

Ganesh and Anand Singh allegedly entered into a brawl at Eagleton Resorts on the city outskirts where the Congress MLAs were herded together to prevent them from BJP's alleged poaching bid to topple the Congress-JDS government.

Patil claimed that the Congress was "instrumental" in registering an FIR and took action against Ganesh after looking at the "heinous" assault on Singh.

"We had all (Congress leaders) gone to meet him (Singh)...we told him and his family to take all necessary action and that the party will not interfere," he said. Asked why Ganesh had not yet been arrested, he said "...whenever such cases happen, they all (accused) abscond, they take legal advice and abscond, so police face a little difficulty. But it is not impossible to arrest him. We will arrest him."

A red-faced Congress on Monday suspended Ganesh, who had claimed that he was also injured in the incident.

To a question on whether the government allowed Ganesh to abscond before registering an FIR, Patil said it was not sitting quiet and action would be taken according to the law.

News source : indiatoday.in
Karnataka MLA vs MLA: Legislator files attempt to murder case, Cong orders probe, suspends accused
An attempt to murder case has been lodged against Congress legislator J N Ganesh on the basis of a complaint filed by Anand Singh, the party’s MLA from Vijayanagar constituency in Bellary who was injured in a brawl on Saturday night at a resort where Congress MLAs were sheltered.

The Congress has ordered an internal inquiry into the brawl among party MLAs from Bellary and placed Ganesh, the legislator from Kampli constituency, under suspension “pending a full inquiry”. Singh was admitted in Apollo Hospital on Sunday morning. A medical report from the hospital said he had suffered a “black eye, nasal blood clot, and tenderness over left lower chest”.

Senior Congress leaders had on Sunday denied that a brawl had occurred even as some leaders indicated that a fight had broken out.

The MLAs were sheltered at Eagleton Resort, in Ramanagara district near Bengaluru, amid fear of attempts at poaching by Opposition BJP during the recent political crisis in Karnataka.

In his complaint at Bidadi police station, in Ramanagara district, Singh stated that Ganesh accused him of stifling fund supply to him during last year’s Assembly elections, and of giving his nephew prominence when the MLAs from Bellary district were returning to their rooms after dinner on Saturday. He alleged that Ganesh attacked him subsequently, hitting his head on a wall and kicking him after he fell down.

Ganesh claimed that things went out of hand after he tried to intervene in an argument between Singh and another MLA from Bellary, Bheema Naik. “I tried to pacify them but things went out of hand. If the incidents have hurt him, I want to apologise,’’ said Ganesh, who has a criminal record and is said to be Singh’s protege.

According to sources in the party, the fight broke out after some MLAs insinuated that Singh had played a double game with them regarding offers to switch over to BJP while reporting dissident activities to Congress leaders at the same time.

News source: https://indianexpress.com
BS Yeddyurappa paid last respects to Sri Shivakumara Swami in Tumakuru
Devotees in large numbers gathered to pay their last respects to the renowned spiritual leader, humanitarian and educationist Sri Shivakumara Swami in Karnataka's Tumakuru on Tuesday. Former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa also visited at Siddaganga Mutt and paid his respect. 111-year-old Shivakumara Swami, passed away at the Siddaganga Mutt on 21 January.

News Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com
Congress MLA JN Ganesh issues apology, but denies brawl with Anand Singh
Congress MLA JN Ganesh, who allegedly indulged in a brawl with another MLA Anand Singh at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru has expressed that he is personally pained after the incident took place and wanted to apologise to the latter, while blatantly denying reports of a brawl. JN Ganesh on being asked about the incident of brawl said, "Whatever you are thinking has not happened. Whatever is being shown (in the media) has not happened. It is all a lie. Bhima Nayak, Rana Singh and I were talking together then. I am personally pained after the incident. I did not hurt him, if he is hurt I along with my family will apologise to him." In a major embarrassment to Congress, Hosapete MLA Anand Singh and Kampli MLA JN Ganesh indulged in a brawl on January 20 at Eagleton Resort with the former sustaining head injuries. MLA Anand Singh has been admitted to Apollo hospital.

News Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com
3 "Missing" Karnataka Lawmakers Spoil Congress Headcount Amid Rebellion
Three "missing" Karnataka lawmakers remain a big worry for the Congress even though the party says it has successfully dodged the BJP's "Operation Lotus" to topple its coalition government in a coup.
The Congress has ordered all its legislators to show up at a meeting in Bengaluru where attendance is a must and absence will be seen as exit from the party.

The "rebel" Congress legislators are believed to be in a hotel in Mumbai, along with two independent lawmakers. Reports say a BJP parliamentarian, Sanjay Ramchandra Patil, visited the hotel this morning to meet them. Among the legislators is Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was openly upset about being denied a place in Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's recent cabinet expansion.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, said he had asked Ramesh Jarkiholi's brother Satish Jarkiholi to call him. So far, it doesn't seem to have produced any results.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, worryingly for the Congress, has been incommunicado since Tuesday. On Wednesday, two legislators who had gone into "hiding" with him returned to Bengaluru and surfaced near a Congress meeting.

All of Wednesday, Satish Jarkiholi, a first-time legislator who was made a minister in the cabinet rejig even as his brother was dropped, reportedly tried to get him to come around.

"I'm not ordering the legislators to be present. It's the BJP's allegation," said Mr Siddaramaiah, hitting out at the BJP's BS Yeddyurappa, who has been accused by the Congress of trying to induce its lawmakers to cross over.

"Yeddyurappa was chief minister and has been accusing me of poaching MLAs. Does he have any self-respect," Mr Siddaramaiah asked.

One of the Congress lawmakers gone AWOL is B Nagendra, who vehemently denies he is in touch with the BJP. "I went to Mumbai for personal reasons. I have business there and go there from time to time. Don't take it in any other way that I was in contact with someone. I'm not against anyone. I'm not going to BJP. I don't know about Ramesh Jarkiholi," Mr Nagendra told reporters.

The Congress rebels camping at a luxury hotel in Mumbai and 104 BJP lawmakers sequestered at a resort in Gurgaon near Delhi this week set the stage for what many believed was a Karnataka coalition crash engineered either by the BJP or within the Congress. The speculation peaked after two independent lawmakers withdrew support from the Kumarasamy-led Congress-Janata Dal Secular government.

The Congress repeatedly called it a redux of "Operation Lotus (the BJP's election symbol)" - the name given for the BJP's alleged attempts to lure away lawmakers from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular government.

After the return of two of the missing Congress lawmakers, the ruling coalition leaders said the BJP had aborted its coup attempt.

2 COMMENTS
The JDS-Congress alliance has 118 lawmakers in the 225-member Karnataka assembly, where the majority mark is 113.
'Operation Lotus' plunges Karnataka into crisis
BENGALURU/MYSURU: An intense political drama is unfolding in with BJP shifting all its 104 MLAs to the National Capital Region over the last two days even as CM HD Kumaraswamy alleged that as part of ' Operation Lotus 3:0', the opposition party was conspiring to poach Congress-JD(S) MLAs to dislodge his government. The BJP MLAs were scheduled to meet party chief in Delhi on Sunday and return to Bengaluru on Monday.

But in an attempt to keep the flock together and thwart any counter-action by Congress-JD(S), they were on Monday shifted to ITC Grand Bharat in Hasanpur Tauru in Nuh district adjoining Gurgaon. The BJP MLAs will now miss the Sankranti fervour as their stay in the NCR has been indefinitely extended. 'Operation Lotus' refers to BJP's successful poaching of MLAs from other parties during BS Yeddyurappa's first stint as CM.

A senior MLA who is in Yeddyurappa's inner circle claimed the party has already enlisted the support of 12 Congress MLAs and is waiting for the support of another four to five legislators. "This time, you will see some result," he said, expressing confidence that BJP will succeed in either forming its government or forcing a midterm assembly election along with the Lok Sabha polls.

Coalition with Congress under strain in Karnataka, says JD(S) leader
In a fresh war of words between Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress, PWD Minister HD Revanna said that if Congress doesn't mend its ways he would take his own way, hinting that the parties might move apart.

Revanna was speaking to media about the issues over the appointment of board and state corporation chairmen's posts. When asked about why Congress MLAs' names have not been approved for chairmen's post by the chief minister, Revanna said, "In terms of Hassan district appointment, CM and HD Deve Gowda both should consult us. We have six MLAs from Hassan. If they don't consult us they can go their way and we shall go ours."

Recently Hassan Congress MLC Gopalswamy name was shortlisted for the chairman's post but his name was dropped at the last minute. If reports are to be believed, it was because of HD Revanna that the name was dropped.

However, Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao said there were issues between the working style of coalition partners. "There are small issues. I request JD(S) leaders not to make such statements in the media. We can always discuss between four walls," said Rao.

Earlier, former PM Deve Gowda also expressed his disappointment with the way the coalition government was working. "The government is not working up to to my expectation. There are issues and both parties have to resolve it. There should be better coordination," said Deve Gowda.
I stand by CM Kumaraswamy, says DyCM G Parameshwara
BENGALURU: Introduction of English medium schools has left the Congress top leaders divided in their opinion. At an event organised by the state department of primary and secondary education here on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara supported the stand taken by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy over introduction of English medium at government schools from the next academic year. Siddaramaiah, head of the coalition co-ordination committee, is not in favour of this.

After inaugurating the South Indian States Science Fair-2019, G Parameshwara said, “I stand by the CM, and it is the decision of the coalition government and not a particular party.”Over Siddaramaiah raising objection, he said, "Each party member will have hundreds of opinions. But, it is the policy decision of the government, and it will be implemented from the coming academic year."
Karnataka government schoolkids can opt for Kannada or English
BENGALURU: The state government, which is firm on its decision to implement English medium in state government schools from the next academic year, will leave the option to children.An official from the department of primary and secondary education said, “There will be both Kannada and English medium at these schools, and the kids will be given a choice.” The department is studying several models across the country to introduce English medium in state-run schools, and a final decision will be taken soon, said officials.

Information available shows that department officials have already visited and studied the model implemented in Kerala, to introduce English medium in government schools.With the decision to introduce English, the department is expecting an increase in enrolment into Class 1 from the next academic year. One of the reasons is the recent amendments made to the RTE Act.

The amendments to RTE rules clearly say that the first priority is to fill seats in government schools and next to aided schools, and in case there are no government or aided schools in the neighbourhood, one can apply to private schools. “There is no provision to apply to private schools, and parents who are willing to send their kids to English-medium schools will now send them to a government school,” the official mentioned .
Karnataka universities postpone exams for bandh
BENGALURU: The all India bandh call given by several workers unions has resulted in the postponement of several exams scheduled to be held at varsities across the state. The bandh, likely to affect public transport on Tuesday and Wednesday, led to this precautionary measure taken at Bangalore University, Tumakuru University and the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS).

The semester examinations of Bangalore University and Tumkur university have been postponed and even the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) has postponed the B.Pharma and D.Pharma courses examinations.

However Visvesvaraiah Technological University (VTU) Belagavi is yet to take a decision about the same. And exams postponed by RGUHS will be held on January 17th and 18th, where Tumkur and BU have not announced further dates.

Meanwhile, the state government has given powers to District Commissioners to take decision on declaring holiday for schools and colleges looking at the situation. And for private schools, they advised the managements to take decision accordingly.
Karnataka schools closed, Universities postpone exams due to trade union strikes
BENGALURU: Most private schools in Bengaluru have announced that they will remain shut on Tuesday and Wednesday, on account of the two-day trade union strike.

The state government said the decision to remain open or close is left to individual schools and colleges, even as universities postponed various exams scheduled for the two days.

D Shashi Kumar from Karnataka Association of Management for Unaided Schools (KAMS), said, "We have recommended our member-schools to take a decision to ensure students are not exposed to any risk. Since there will lack of public transport, there is no point in keeping the schools open and troubling parents and students."

KAMS have about 3000 member-schools across Karnataka.
Karnataka increases tax rates on petrol, diesel
The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka on Friday increased tax rates on petrol and diesel to 32 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, citing adverse impact on the state revenue collection due to continuous fall in the prices of crude oil in international market.

Prior to the revision, the tax rates on petrol and diesel were 28.75 per cent and 17.73 per cent, respectively.

The revised rates for petrol and diesel are Rs 70.84 per litre and Rs 64.66 per litre, respectively.
English medium government schools face criticism at Kannada literary meet
The decision of the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition to implement English as a medium of instruction in Karnataka’s government schools came under sharp criticism on Friday at the beginning of a state-sponsored literary event held in Dharwad, about 430km from Bengaluru.

The criticism by eminent Kannada litterateurs at the beginning of the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, came days after former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah hauled up Kumaraswamy for his plans to introduce English as medium of instruction in government schools.

Kumaraswamy had announced his plans in the state budget presented in July 2017.

Noted writers like Chandrashekar Patil and Jnanapith awardee Chandrashekar Kambar pulled up the government over the decision.

Kambar likened the decision to that of Thomas Babington Macaulay, on whose suggestion English had become the administrative language in British-ruled India, that continues to this day.

Maintaining that it is the responsibility of the government to protect language, traditions and culture of Karnataka, Kambar said “Kannada is what is required for daily business and cultural development”.

Pro-Kannada activists and others have alleged that there has been a decline in growth of local language schools as they are being shut down to make way for private English-medium schools, many of which have politicians on their boards.

Kumaraswamy has said that introducing English will help increase the chances of employment of the state’s youth. The Karnataka government itself funds education of one lakh children in private schools under the Right to Education Act, 2009.

The previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had made Kannada pride a poll plank for the Karnataka elections in May 2017. It had proposed a Karnataka state flag and removal of Hindi signage at Bengaluru metro stations.
No political motive should be seen in IT raids on film stars, producers: Karnataka CM
Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday said no political motive should be seen in the ongoing Income Tax raids on top Kannada film stars and producers and asserted that they were only doing their duty, based on the inputs they receive.

Kumaraswamy said the raids were going on everywhere and it happens only when the I-T officials come to know about tax evasion.

"Instead of saying they (raids) are politically motivated, we should say that the I-T officials are doing their duty. What choice do they have if the information is correct?" he told reporters in Hubballi.
Karnataka govt plans to resurrect infamous steel flyover project in Bengaluru
The infamous steel flyover project is once more in the news after Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara decided to resurrect it.

But citizens as well as the opposition BJP are now gearing up to fight this battle as they did in the past.

Citizens of Bengaluru got a New Year shock when G Parameshwara said the government will try to revive the controversial steel bridge project. This comes after it was scrapped over allegations of corruption as well as being opposed by environmentalists and citizens.
I-T dept grills Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar in tax evasion case
BENGALURU: Senior Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar was on Thursday grilled for about three hours by the Income Tax department for alleged tax evasion, officials said.

Shivakumar, a frontline Congress leader in the state, was summoned for questioning as part of a "routine process" following searches at various properties linked to him on August 2, department sources said.

The minister had already appeared before I-T officials twice in July and August last year.
Prakash Raj meets KTR, to contest in LS elections from Karnataka
HYDERABAD: Actor Prakash Raj will contest the next Lok Sabha elections as an independent from Karnataka . The actor on Wednesday met TRS working president K T Rama Rao at his office in the city.

After meeting KTR, he tweeted a picture of his with the former minister and said: Thank you KTR for the inspiring support to my political journey. He mentioned that his was a new beginning not aimed against anyone but for the society. He said it was to raise citizens’ voices in parliament too.

The national award winning actor who also made the hashtag ‘Just asking’ by tweeting with it raising questions, announced his decision to take the political route to ask questions. While wishing his followers a happy new year, he said announced he would contest the parliament elections as an independent candidate. "Ab Ki baar Janatha ki sarkar," the actor, who is known to be a Modi-baiter said.
JD(S) demands 2:1 seat-sharing in Karnataka, Congress eyes lion’s share
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in Karnataka is headed for a battle over seat-sharing as the Lok Sabha elections near.

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda sparked a controversy on January 1 by demanding more seats for the JD(S) for the general election.

Banking on the crucial victories in three ‘Hindi heartland’ states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — Congress, on the other hand, is hoping to get a lion’s share of seats.