The monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature began on Monday under the shadow of growing Covid-19 cases in the state, with as many as 60 MLAs including seven ministers in quarantine.
A decision was taken soon after the session commenced to restrict proceedings to six days instead of the originally planned eight days on account of large absenteeism in the 224-member Assembly.
The BJP government in Karnataka had initially expressed interest in passing 32 Bills in the session including the finance Bill, an amendment to the state fiscal responsibility Act, changes to labour and agricultural land ownership laws and the APMC Act.
The opposition Congress insisted at a business advisory council meeting on Monday that only important Bills be discussed in a curtailed session and others be taken up in a longer session.
Before the session commenced on Monday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa – who returned to Bengaluru on Sunday without getting clearances from the BJP central leadership to expand his cabinet – told reporters that the government had decided to curtail the monsoon session to around three days.
“Even the Parliament session is likely to be curtailed. Around 55-60 MLAs cannot come for the proceedings due to Covid,” he said. “Let us discuss important issues that are necessary and try to end as soon as possible.”
Deputy CM Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and five other ministers, K Gopalaiah, Byrathi Basavaraj, Prabhu Chavan, Shashikala Jolle and Shivaram Hebbar, are in quarantine.
Karnataka has been reporting around 8,000 Covid 19 cases on a daily basis over the last few weeks.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines