The legislature secretariat had submitted a proposal to the state Finance Department, seeking Rs 26.87cr to hold a two-day joint legislature session.

Gold biscuits for Ktaka legislators CM decides to tone down Vidhana Soudha celebrations
news Politics Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 18:16

Karnataka Assembly Speaker KB Koliwad’s statement that the legislators were slated to get gold biscuits for the Vidhana Soudha’s diamond jubilee celebrations has received a lot of flak. Going into damage control mode, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has decided to tone down the celebration and cancel the proposal of lavish gifting.

The decision was taken after a meeting between the CM and the Speaker.

In view of the horrible flooding of various areas across the state and the drought which has taken over 1,000 farmers’ lives, the Chief Minister initially wanted to nix the project altogether, sources in the Finance Department told TNM.

The legislature secretariat had submitted a proposal to the state Finance Department, seeking Rs 26.87cr to hold a two-day joint legislature session to celebrate the occasion of Vidhana Soudha turning 60.

After the proposed price for the two-day event hit the media, the plan itself faced severe flak. The event became even more controversial when Speaker KB Koliwad announced the secretariat’s proposal to spend Rs 3 crore to just gift legislators gold biscuits and 5,000 employees silver plates.

However, the Speaker later told the media that no such plan materialised.

“The Chief Minister has examined the proposal. The state has faced severe drought for four years and when the monsoon began, there has been crop loss due to heavy rain. Many places have flooded include the state capital Bengaluru. In such times, the CM felt it necessary to utilise funds to build better infrastructure than spend it on a two-day function,” the source in the Finance Department added.

“After discussions, if it is decided that the celebrations must happen, the CM is planning to reduce the budget for the entire celebration,” the source said.

Shankaramurthy, on Monday, denied that there was a proposal to gift gold biscuits and silver plates. “This is a prestigious day and celebration. For the golden jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka government, and the proposal was dropped,” he said, stating that only an estimate for expenditure was made.

BJP state general secretary and Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje has said that BJP legislators will not accept any gift.

“We don’t want to waste money on such gifts. Legislators are elected for public service and not to receive gold or silver,” she added.

 

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