Bangalore: Ignoring the advice of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah, 12 legislators are flying to South America on Thursday on a 15-day “study tour”. The legislators — members of the Public Undertakings, Child and Women Welfare and Estimates committees — will be accompanied by three Assembly Secretariat officials. They will visit Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.
Though it is supposed to be a study tour, the legislators don’t seem to have done any homework — none of the governments of the countries have been contacted to set up meetings or other engagements, a source in the Speaker’s office said. With an estimated expenditure of Rs 3 lakh per person, the tour will cost the exchequer Rs 45 lakh.
The legislators include Venkatarao Nadagowda, Prabhu Chavan, Basavaraj Naik, Ramesh B Bhusanoor, Mohan M Limbikai, H K Kumaraswamy, Dr M C Sudhakar Reddy, Chandrakanth Bellad, B C Patil from the Public Undertakings Committee, Sureshgouda Patil from the Estimates Committee and Pratapgouda Patil from the Women and Child Welfare Committee. The name of the 12th member was not available. Travelling with them are Assembly Secretariat Deputy Secretary Halepet and two other officials, one of whom is supposed to be the financial adviser to the Secretariat.
Reacting to the foreign trip, Speaker K G Bopaiah said: “We have appealed to the members not to undertake the tour in view of the prevailing drought. If they still want to go ahead, people are there to teach them a lesson.”
Two other teams of legislators are also planning overseas “study tours”.