Karnataka government to unveil its policies Monday

Bangalore, June 2 (IANS) The three-week-old Congress government in Karnataka faces the state legislature for the first time Monday with Governor H.R. Bharadwaj outlining its policies for the year.

Bharadwaj would address the joint session of the assembly and the legislative council at the majestic Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat building in the state capital. Shortly after the address, the two houses would begin their separate sessions which are scheduled to end June 7.

The governor's speech is expected to touch upon the state's financial position, the government's plan to shore it up, and policies to promote social justice, official sources told IANS.

The Congress, which wrested power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the May 5 assembly polls, has been accusing the previous government of mismanaging the state's finances, resulting in "bankruptcy".

The Congress is expected to face some embarrassing times in the legislature, as one of its ambitious plans - cheap rice for the poor - did not take off on June 1, as announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah May 13.

The first announcement of Siddaramaiah, who alone had taken oath May 13, was that his government would provide 30kg rice at Re.1 a kg for the BPL (Below Poverty Line) card holders from June 1. This was a promise the party had made in its election manifesto.

The scheme would now be implemented from July 1, Siddaramaiah promised on June 1. He said the expected supply of rice from the central government did not come in time, causing the delay.

With the Congress heading the central government, this development is handy for the two major opposition parties, the Janata Dal-Secular and BJP, to taunt Siddaramaiah and the treasury benches.

Both these parties have been accusing the Congress-led central government of "discriminating" against Karnataka in providing funds, power from central grid and ensuring justice in sharing the waters of inter-state rivers.

The Congress, having won 122 seats in the May 5 election, is in a comfortable position in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member.

The JDS and BJP have 40 seats each. The remaining 22 seats are shared by smaller parties and Independents.

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