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No connection with IMA, says Zameer
Minority Welfare Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan said on Wednesday he had no links with the scam-hit IMA Group, except for having sold them his property for which he received Rs 5 crore.

"That was in 2017. Before that, I had nothing to do whatsoever with this company," he told reporters.

Khan said he visited the IMA's office late last month after receiving WhatsApp messages that the company had defaulted on payments to investors. "In my capacity as the minister for minority welfare, I visited their office to inquire about the complaints. I was shown their gold stash and all that. They said payments had stopped for whatever reason," he said.

"People should've filed a police complaint as soon as the payments stopped, but they kept faith," Khan said and appealed to IMA founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan to resurface. "The government is committed to protecting the interests of the investors. That's why I've been running around for the last two days."

Khan refuted reports that he was targeting Shivajinagar legislator R Roshan Baig. "We're brothers. No one is conspiring against him."

He also said that he, along with other Congress Muslim leaders, had submitted to the chief minister and home minister a list of 25 assets belonging to the IMA promoter. "There's information that there are benami assets also," he said.

News Source: https://www.deccanherald.com
Siddaramaiah slams BJP for not inducting any Dalit MP from Karnataka in Union Cabinet
Five Dalit candidates of the BJP had won from Karnataka in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah has hit out at the BJP for not inducting a Dalit MP from Karnataka in the Union cabinet, saying “upliftment” of the community will not happen just by “big talk”.

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Five Dalit candidates of the BJP had won from Karnataka in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

“Upliftment of Dalits won’t happen just by big talk. In the recent elections several BJP candidates have won from reserved constituencies. Best wishes to them.

“Despite this not even one Dalit MP from the state has got representation in the Union cabinet. Is there a bigger injustice or betrayal than this?” Siddaramaiah, who is also the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, tweeted in Kannada.

Calling Siddaramaiah “Twitter Ramaiah,” the Karnataka BJP hit back at the Congress leader and asked him to make veteran party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost in the Lok Sabha polls, the chief minister, if he really cared for Dalits.

People are also aware that it was Siddaramaiah who prevented G Parameshwara (now deputy chief minister) from becoming the chief minister as he was a Dalit, it alleged in a tweet in Kanada.

“Respected Twitter Ramaiah. Don’t show your love towards Dalits only through your tweets. People of the state know that you averted chief minister position to G Parameshwara (now deputy chief minister), as he was a Dalit.

“If you really cared for Dalits make Mallikarjun Kharge, who has lost election- the CM,” the Karnataka BJP tweeted.

News Source: https://indianexpress.com
The lotus blooms in Karnataka: How the BJP changed the traditional vote bank formula
For the first time in the state, the BJP secured a 51.4% vote share, while the Congress scraped through with a negligible 31.9%.

May 23 was a day of historical significance for the BJP in Karnataka. The party accomplished what seemed like an unachievable feat just a couple of decades ago – the decimation of the Congress in Karnataka. It was a washout for the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka, as the BJP won 25 out of the 28 constituencies in the state. The results came as a massive embarrassment to the Congress, which had prided itself in reigning over Karnataka for decades at a time. The tables have turned and the status quo has been demolished.

For the first time in the state, the BJP secured a 51.4% vote share, while the Congress scraped through with a negligible 31.9%. Even a decade ago, the BJP in Karnataka could not have achieved such a monumental feat. So what changed in Karnataka in 2019?

The traditional Congress voters shifted to BJP

One of the reasons why the Modi wave swept Karnataka and demolished traditional vote banks is due to the pre-poll alliance the Congress forged with the sub-regional party – the JD(S).

The vote base of the Congress – comprising the OBC, minority and Dalits ended up voting for the BJP. One of the most shocking turn of events was the BJP’s victory in the Old Mysuru region, which was a fortress of the Congress and JD(S).

The Old Mysuru Congress strongholds comprised the Mysuru-Kodagu, Mandya, Hassan, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru and Chamarajanagar constituencies.

This time around, in Kolar and Chikkaballapura, two Congress heavyweights KH Muniyappa and Veerappa Moily conceded defeat to the BJP candidates. This was because the members of the Chalavadi community along with the Marasu Vokkaligas voted for the BJP. The situation was the same in Chamarajanagar, where the votes of the OBC community went to BJP’s V Srinivas Prasad.

In Mysuru, Tumakuru and Mandya regions, the Congress vote base, including a certain section of Vokkaligas and the members of the Kuruba community voted for the BJP. This sudden shift in vote base is purely because of the coalition, says political analyst Mahadev Prakash.

“See, the people belonging to backward communities and certain sub-sects of the Dalit community have been unhappy with the Congress. This is because the Vokkaligas were traditionally the community which oppressed and humiliated those belonging to backward castes. There is history of violence and humiliation perpetrated by Vokkaligas that the minorities and OBCs cannot forgive. They will never vote for the JD(S) or anyone who supports the JD(S) simply because it is a party of those belonging to the feudal class. The alliance was a big mistake,” he added.

News source: https://news.google.com
Drinking Water Crisis in Mumbai-Karnataka region
BENGALURU: Water from Maharashtra is expected to flow into river Krishna in Karnataka in the next two days, Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy announced on Sunday.

Karnataka had requested Maharashtra to release water from its Koyna or Warna reservoirs to meet the drinking water needs of Belagavi, Vijayapura and Bagalkot districts. The neighbouring state has also requested Karnataka to release water from Almatti reservoir to meet its the drinking water needs, too, across the border.

Kumaraswamy, in a tweet said, the Maharashtra Chief Secretary has sent an official communication to his Karnataka counterpart on the release of water.

On Friday, a delegation of BJP MLAs and MPs from North Karnataka had met Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and sought his intervention to deal with the drinking water crisis in parts of Karnataka. Water Resources Minister D.K.Shivakumar too had been pursuing the request with Maharashtra.
At 69%, Karnataka records all-time high voter turnout
Karnataka has posted an all-time polling high of 68.6% in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, surpassing its previous best of 67.6%, recorded in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections.

The state also improved its 2014 figure of 67.2% by 1.4 percentage points, data released by the Election Commission of India on Wednesday showed.

The record turnout in the state left both the JD(S)-Congress alliance and the BJP, which won more seats than the other two combined in 2014, confident of improving their individual tallies.

As far as constituencies go, Mandya by breaching the 80% mark has broken all records since 1951 with no constituency having ever crossed 78% mark. Before April 18, 2019, the record for constituencies was held by Dakshina Kannada — 77.15% in 2014 — which barely broke a record held by Mandya previously. Mandya had polled 77.13% in 1984.

Leaders of the JD(S)-Congress combine attributed the high voting percentage to people’s commitment to democracy. BJP leaders, on the other hand, were more inclined to believe that the turnout was indicative of people’s support for the saffron party. Some leaders of the party said there should have been an even greater increase in voting, going by the overall mood, but non-BJP voters did not turn up.

Leaders of the JD(S)-Congress combine attributed the high voting percentage to people’s commitment to democracy. BJP leaders, on the other hand, were more inclined to believe that the turnout was indicative of people’s support for the saffron party. Some leaders of the party said there should have been an even greater increase in voting, going by the overall mood, but non-BJP voters did not turn up.

“It shows people’s faith in democracy, and we are confident that they have made the right choice,” chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said. “That voters have come out in large numbers is also a result of overall increase in awareness,” the CM added.

‘Difficult to predict who will benefit from large turnout’

In South And West, Voters In Two States Make A Strong Statement

Congress’ Priyank Kharge said: “Unlike up to the late 1980s when caste politics was not so divisive in Karnataka, it is very difficult to predict who will benefit from a large turnout until we get the booth-wise details. As an alliance, we’re confident of getting 18-20 seats.”

Arguing that there is a greater awareness among people and that the increase has largely been in rural segments may mean that people have sought change, he said: “Unlike in urban areas, people in rural areas are more concerned about policies. I think this will have an impact.”

BJP state general secretary N Ravi Kumar said the high turnout was because of enthusiastic voting by BJP supporters.

“Barring segments like Tumakuru and Mandya, Congress and JD(S) voters have not come out to vote and this clearly indicates that it is advantage BJP,” he said. “We’ll get a minimum of 20 seats this time and that’s because we have also managed to poach some votes from traditional Congress voters. For example, other than in Mysuru belt, we will get at least 50% of the Kuruba votes too.”
Karnataka govt transfers Mandya deputy commissioner after EC direction
The Karnataka government Tuesday transferred the deputy commissioner of Mandya, from where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil is contesting the Lok Sabha election as JD(S) candidate, following direction from the Election Commission.

P C Jaffer, IAS commissioner for public instruction, Bengaluru, is transferred with immediate effect and posted until further order as deputy commissioner, Mandya district, from where Deputy Commissioner N Manjushree is transferred, the official notification said.

The order is issued as per the direction of Election Commission of India, it said.

Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh had accused Manjushree of "bias".

She had alleged that Kumaraswamy was misusing the office of the deputy commissioner, also the district election officer.

Sumalatha's polling agent had also alleged that the DC did not act on their complaint against flaws in Nikhil Kumaraswamy's nomination papers.

Sumalatha, a multi-lingual actress and widow of actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh, is contesting as an independent candidate from Mandya, from where her late husband had contested on a Congress ticket.

BJP is supporting Sumalatha, by not fielding any candidate in Mandya.

Congress had denied ticket to Sumalatha, citing coalition compulsions, and ceded the seat to JD(S), as the party had sitting MP there.

However, several Congress leaders and workers, miffed over the party's decision to cede the seat to JD(S), their arch-rival in the Vokkaliga bastion, have extended support to Sumalatha.

It is a high-stake battle for Kumaraswamy in Mandya as his son is the coalition candidate.

Sumalatha is also running a high-voltage campaign, with several Kannada film industry personalities on her side. Film stars like Darshan and Yash are actively campaigning for her.

Mandya will go to polls on April 18, the first phase of the two-phase polling in the state.
Income Tax searches trigger political storm in Karnataka, Kumaraswamy leads protest
Over 20 locations searched across the State, unaccounted cash seized.

Searches by Income Tax officials on premises linked to leaders of the Janata Dal (Secular) and their associates across six districts in south Karnataka triggered a political storm on Thursday. The searches, coming just 20 days ahead of the election, were conducted in Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga.

The ruling coalition — the JD(S) and the Congress — closed ranks and condemned the BJP government at the Centre for misusing official machinery against the Opposition. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy later led a protest in front of Income Tax Department offices in Bengaluru.

The action came within hours of Mr. Kumaraswamy predicting a “massive IT search” against JD(S) leaders on Wednesday evening, with I-T sleuths reaching the premises of politically connected businessmen around midnight in Bengaluru.

Soon, the searches expanded, with I-T officials reaching the residences of Minor Irrigation Minister C.S. Puttaraju at Chinakurali in Mandya district early on Thursday. The raids covered the premises of Mr. Puttaraju’s two nephews.

Others targeted were at least five contractors believed to be close to Public Works Minister H.D. Revanna, and two senior PWD engineers in Hassan. Sources said searches by officials continued late on Thursday and were likely to be widened. I-T sources said the searches were based on “credible information” that certain contractors had received favours while works were awarded, and the possibility of these funds being used during the election. In all, 20 locations were searched and a couple of crores of unaccounted money was seized.

CM leads protest

Senior cabinet Ministers of Karnataka, led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah staged a protest in front of the offices of the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru on Thursday evening as day long raids against Janata Dal (S) leaders and their associates continued across six districts in south Karnataka.

Mr Kumaraswamy said the misuse of Central agencies to create an environment of fear by the BJP was setting the States on a collision course with Centre.

Congress and JDS activists who tried to storm the Income Tax office were arrested and later released as the protest led to massive traffic jam’s on arterial Queens Road.

As the protests continued with colaition leaders accusing the BJP-led NDA at the Centre of misusing the official machinery, the I-T Department, in an unprecedented move, clarified that no sitting minister, MP or MLA had been investigated.
'PM Modi's real surgical strike’: Kumaraswamy on IT raid at minister’s home
No confirmation was given by the I-T department about the number of locations raided even as unconfirmed news reports filtered in of raids in Hassan and Mysuru districts as well.

Hours after Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said he had information that the Income Tax department was set to conduct searches on leaders of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, minor irrigation minister CS Puttaraju confirmed that the raids had begun at his residences from the early hours of Thursday.

Puttaraju said his family home in Mandya district had been raided and that there were similar searches that were being conducted in Mysuru and elsewhere.

“My house in Chinakurali village has been raided, mine is a joint family so it is a raid on me,” he said.

Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that he is playing a “revenge game”.

Karnataka Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said the IT department has become “a political wing of the BJP.”

“It’s now clearly established that the IT Dept is now a political wing of the BJP. Congress & JDS leaders/supporters are and will be wilfully targeted. Abuse of power & position for political gain is the norm for #ModiShahGoondaRaj,” Rao wrote on Twitter.

No confirmation was given by the I-T department about the number of locations raided even as unconfirmed news reports filtered in of raids in Hassan and Mysuru districts as well.

Kumaraswamy had said on Wednesday that he had information that the I-T department had sought the support of Central Reserve Police Force personnel, rather than the state police as was the practice.

“Around 300-350 Central CRPF personnel have been brought here from different states to conduct raids. Are we indulging in vengeance politics or is the Bharatiya Janata Party?” Kumaraswamy had asked.

Kumaraswamy said he had information that 300 taxis had been readied to pick up the personnel.

“To stoop so low to scare us, we haven’t done anything we haven’t committed any crime. At this late stage, during elections, the games being played by the I-T department... we know what they are playing at. If they think they can work as the agents of a political party they will have to face the consequences,” he said.

Kumaraswamy said that usually, the I-T tax utilised the state police force for raids.

“Getting the CRPF personnel from outside to conduct raids... This will not continue for long and they should realise it,” he said. “I am not protecting anybody and I will not allow vengeance politics of any kind here. If they continue in this manner I will have to protest like West Bengal chief minister [Mamata Bannerjee].”

State BJP spokesperson S Prakash condemned the statements by the chief minister.

“This is Kumaraswamy’s style, which is to not allow officials to do their duty. The I-T department is an independent authority,” he said. “The department’s raid means they will check the books of some persons. So, there is no need for alarm if there is no wrongdoing involved,” he said.

News source: https://www.hindustantimes.com
JD(S) to field Congress candidates
At least four Congress candidates will be contesting on a JD(S) symbol in the Lok Sabha elections. A decision was taken after former prime minister HD Deve Gowda consulted Congress leaders to allow their candidates to contest on a JD(S) symbol in Uttara Kannada, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Bengaluru North and in Vijayapura.

The JD(S) got these Constituencies in the seat sharing deal with the Congress, but it has no base and no formidable candidates to field.

That is why the party has decided to field Minister RV Deshpande’s son Prashanth Deshpande (Uttara Kannada), Pramod Madhvaraj (Udupi Chikkamagaluru), Shivaraj Tangadagi (Vijayapura) and BL Shankar or an industrialist friend of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge (Bengaluru North).

Meanwhile, Minister HD Revanna’s son Prajwal will file his nomination papers for Hassan Lok Sabha on Friday. Earlier there were doubts whether Prajwal, a politically ambitious grandson of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, would contest or not. As Gowda, who will turn 87 on May 1, was unable to find a safe Constituency, Prajwal had offered to back out. At a meeting between Gowda, his sons - Revanna and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the grandson offered to make way for the family patriarch.

Meanwhile, Minister HD Revanna’s son Prajwal will file his nomination papers for Hassan Lok Sabha on Friday. Earlier there were doubts whether Prajwal, a politically ambitious grandson of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, would contest or not. As Gowda, who will turn 87 on May 1, was unable to find a safe Constituency, Prajwal had offered to back out. At a meeting between Gowda, his sons - Revanna and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the grandson offered to make way for the family patriarch.

BJP defers list announcement

Discontentment over selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha seat has forced the BJP to defer announcing the list for two days. There has been opposition to a few sitting members including Ministers Ananth Kumar Hegde and Ramesh Jigajinagi, Shobha Karandalaje, Pratap Simha and Naleen Kumar Katil.

There has been opposition to A Narayanaswamy in Chitradurga. Two MLAs, Goolihatti Shekhar and Chandrappa, have revolted openly and demanded that a candidate from the Bovi community be given ticket. In Tumakuru too, there is a stiff resistance to GH Basavaraj being given ticket. In Ballari, the district BJP unit is divided over making Devendrappa as candidate. Another group is demanding that Venkatesh Prasad, brother of Congress MLA Nagendra be given the ticket.

Power disruption, a desperate act: BSY


BJP president BS Yeddyurappa termed the State government’s disruption of Sumalatha’s rally in Mandya as an act of desperation.

“Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s desperation and the fear that son Nikhil would lose the Lok Sabha has made him to stoop to low standards,” he said.
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Sumalatha to announce her decision on March 18
MYSURU: Actor Sumalatha, who is busy touring the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, said she would announce her decision about contesting the upcoming general elections on March 18. “I have not yet taken a final decision on contesting the Lok Sabha elections. I will announce the same within a week,” she said.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Monday, she said that she was being urged to contest the Lok Sabha elections on April 18.

She said Congress leaders, party workers and Ambareesh fans want her to enter politics. Recalling her tour in all assembly constituencies of Mandya, she said she received an overwhelming response from the public. Sumalatha had said that she was mother India to Darshan, who has supported her family and her ambitions. He has asked people to follow her if she contests in the Lok Sabha elections.

Hinting that too many from Sandalwood will campaign for her, she refused to disclose names. She clarified that irrigation minister D K Shivakumar was not pressuring her to contest and advised her to contest from elsewhere.

However, Sumalatha has said she would contest only from Mandya. When asked about Minister H D Revanna's comments, she refused to comment. She said the people of the state were tracking the developments and will soon react.

She said she was happy to know that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy apologised for Revanna’s remarks and said she entered social media for political reasons. Meanwhile, Sumalatha was given rousing reception during her visit to Nagamangala.

Hundreds of Congress workers, former minister N Chaluvarayaswamy, fans and others burst crackers and welcomed Sumalatha.
Karnataka Lok Sabha elections schedule 2019: Polling on April 18 & 23; results on May 23
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Sunday announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections 2019 on Sunday evening.

The LS polls in Karnataka will be held in two phases, with 14 constituencies going to the polls in each phase - April 18 and April 23.

The dates for the seven phases are: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting of votes will be done on May 23.

The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately after the announcement. VVPATs will be used with EVMs at all polling stations in the country.

Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will be held with Lok Sabha polls. Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held along with the LS polls.

The number of total electorate in the general elections is expected to be 900 million, of which 15 million voters are in the age group of 18-19 years. There will be approximately 10 lakh polling stations across the country as compared to 9 lakh polling stations in 2014.
Karnataka Lawmaker Quits Congress. "Sold Himself To BJP," Says Party
BENGALURU: A Congress legislator in Karnataka who had gone "missing" for several weeks during the political turmoil in the state resigned from the party today. Umesh Jadhav submitted his resignation to the state assembly speaker. The Congress called him a "betrayer" and said that he had "already sold himself to the BJP".
Mr Jadhav is a two-time legislator from Chincholi constituency in north Karnataka's Kalaburagi district.

He submitted his resignation letter without giving any explanation.

Umesh Jadhav and three other Congress legislators - Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumtahalli - surfaced in Bengaluru last month, weeks after they went "missing". The Congress had recommended their disqualification to the assembly speaker.

"Dr Umesh Jadhav's resignation was a forgone conclusion because he had already sold himself to the BJP. He is leaving the Congress party for his selfish motives. He can be called a betrayer," Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters.

The four leaders had kept the party on tenterhooks for several weeks, skipping the budget session of Karnataka assembly last month and defying the party's instructions to attend the two meetings of its legislators on January 18 and February 8.

The opposition BJP has been accused of trying to poach the legislators to bring down the coalition government of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress.

Umesh Jadhav's resignation will not affect the majority of the coalition government.
Special court discharges Karnataka minister in three cases registered by I-T department
BENGALURU: In a big relief for Karnataka water resources minister D K Shivakumar, a special court people’s representatives on Thursday discharged him from three cases registered by the Income tax department.

Special judge allowed the applications filed by the minister seeking discharge from the case, holding that the computation of income tax evasion and assessment proceedings are yet to be completed.

The judge, however, reserved the liberty to the Income Tax department to register the complaint once the assessment proceedings are completed.

DK Shivakumar had sought for discharge from the case claiming that the income tax department could not have launched prosecution even before culmination of assessment proceedings for the year 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

In one of the cases, Shivakumar has also been charged under section 201 of IPC, for destruction of evidence, for allegedly tearing of a sheet of paper during an income tax raid about 18 months ago.

News source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Air strike will help BJP win 22 seats in Karnataka: BS Yeddyurappa
BENGALURU: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said the India's air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group inside Pakistan will prove to be a decisive factor for the BJP’s victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters prior to attending a meet of the BJP party workers in Davangere and Chitradurga, Yeddyurappa said, "The assault on Pakistan will prove to be decisive for our victory across the country with the Modi wave catching fervour among the youngsters celebrating the attack on the neighboring state and avenging the 44 CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama. I am certain that in Karnataka also we will be able to pull off at least 22 seats after yesterday’s attack and today morning’s effort in bringing down the Pakistan airplane at the border.”

However, the former Karnataka CM claimed that his statement was being reported out of context.

News source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
300 cars gutted in fire near Bengaluru air show
A massive fire in the parking lot opposite the IAF's Yelahanka air base, where the Aero India show is underway, gutted about 300 cars on Saturday, police said. No casualties were reported.

"The blaze is likely to have been caused due to dry grass catching fire aided by high velocity winds," Director General of Police for Fire and Emergency Services M.N. Reddi told IANS.

The fire broke out around noon in the fourth parking lot near the air base's fifth gate where visitors on the fourth day of the 5-day show had parked their vehicles.

As many as 25 fire tenders and 150 firemen battled for two hours to douse the blaze, first limiting the fire's spread by a gap created by removing adjacent cars, Reddi said.

"In all, 300 cars were burnt. Fire is fully extinguished now," he tweeted later.

"Details of damage to vehicles is being ascertained. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of fire," said a statement by the Defence Ministry.

Thick columns of black smoke were seen billowing soon after the flying display of fighters, helicopters and aerobatics by jet trainers, which began at 10 a.m., concluded by noon.

The news of the fire was announced at around 12.30 p.m.

"An announcement by the organisers at 12.30 p.m. only said it was a small fire, but did not mention about the cars catching fire," Shashi Kumar, a city-based engineer visiting the expo, told IANS.

As news of the cars being gutted came, several of the visitors began leaving, fearing their vehicles were among the ones damaged even as the aerial display of about 30 aircraft resumed as per schedule between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

State transport buses were operated to ferry those whose cars were burnt and were stranded at the venue.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government deployed a team of surveyors to assess the damage and process the insurance claims by the owners of the burnt-out cars.

"The state transport department will issue duplicate RCs (registration certificate) and DL (driving licenses) to all those who have lost them in the fire," said Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaya Bhasar in a statement.

The state government has urged the Central government to ask insurance firms to take a lenient view of the incident for claims.

"Alternate parking place has been identified for the show on Sunday," added Bhaskar.

News source: https://www.businessinsider.in
HD Kumaraswamy Ask Officials To Take Measures To Keep Fire Under Check
KARNATAKA: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday directed the state's Forest Department officials to take preventive measures to keep the forest fires under check.
His instructions come in the wake of the fire tragedy which took place in Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park in Chamarajanagar district on February 23.

"We are closely monitoring the forest fire. The Forest Department is overseeing the preventive action, Mr Kumaraswamy told ANI.

He further said that forest officials and the fire service personnel are trying to control the fire.

News source: https://www.ndtv.com
Hospet MLA attack case: Kampli Ganesh remanded to judicial custody
BENGALURU: Congress MLA from Kampli JN Ganesh, who was arrested on Wednesday from a hotel in Somnath in Gujarat, was produced before the chief judicial magistrate's court in Ramanagara in Karnataka and remanded to judicial custody till March 6.

Ganesh had gone missing after attacking his colleague Hospet MLA Anand Singh at a resort on late January 20 night. Ganesh was booked for attempt to murder after Anand Singh gave a statement to police that his colleague attempted to kill him.

According to sources, Ramanagara district police did not seek police custody for Ganesh as they had already completed spot mahajar and recorded Ganesh's statement.

Ganesh's counsel requested the court that Ganesh be lodged in Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara rather than being incarcerated in the Ramanagara district jail. The court acceded for his request and sent Ganesh to Parappana Agrahara prison.

The Kampli MLA was arrested on Wednesday afternoon when he was on his way to have lunch at a hotel near Somnath Temple, Ramanagara district, superintendent of police Ramesh Bhanot said.

Police brought Ganesh to the city on Thursday morning and later took him to Bidadi police station, where the attempt to murder case was registered against him. Police recorded his statement about the incident in the police station, got him to undergo a medical exam at the district hospital and produced him before the court around 3.30pm.

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