Bangalore: If there was any doubt that the South American ‘study tour’ by Karnataka legislators would be a junket, it was erased on Wednesday when they boarded a Jetlite flight to Mumbai. Nine of them were accompanied by their wives; one even took his daughter along. It also emerged that the trip will cost you more: 13 legislators are making the trip, and not 12 as reported earlier.
The cost per legislator is Rs 6 lakh and not Rs 3 lakh. And after their ‘studies’ in South America, the legislators will have a two-day stay in West Asia before they return home. This despite being asked by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar not to undertake the trip in view of the prevailing drought.
However, the legislators were not apologetic. Hirekerur MLA B C Patil argued, “Have the people stopped eating and drinking because of the drought? When the country can spend Rs 25 crore on the security of Ajmal Kasab, then we, as legislators working for the state, should be allowed this trip. There has been sufficient rain in the last few weeks.”
Nine out of 13 MLAs were accompanied by their wives on the \'junket\'; one even took his daughter along.
Sindhanur MLA Venkanagouda said, “There has been enough rain in my constituency and farmers are busy cultivating crops. Due to the recent rainfall, our canals are full and plantations are lush. So, I am rid of all guilt.”
From Mumbai the legislators were to leave for Dubai and then to Argentina on Friday.