Troubled Karnataka BJP issues whip to its legislators

Bangalore, Feb 6 (IANS) Surviving on a razor-thin majority in the state assembly, the ruling BJP in Karnataka Wednesday issued a whip to its lawmakers to attend the legislature's session to ensure passing of the 2013-14 budget.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued "whip to all (its) members," party's chief whip Siddu Savadi told reporters here.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is to present the annual budget Feb 8. The session, which began Feb 4, is scheduled to end Feb 15.

The BJP has told its members in the assembly and the legislative council to be present in the two houses till the session concludes.

The BJP's strength in the 225-member assembly has come down to 106, including the speaker, following resignation of 14 of its members.

The resignation of two more BJP members is pending with Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

The ruling party has the support of one of the seven Independents who is a cabinet minister. One nominated member of the assembly is also a BJP member.

The combined opposition strength, including the six Independents, is 103 with the Congress having 71 members and the Janata Dal-Secular 26.

The 14 resignations have reduced the house strength now to 211.

Savadi said the two members whose resignations are with the speaker are also covered by the whip.

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