Bangalore: Here is more evidence that most of our legislators are looking out for themselves. Early this year, a special board of the Karnataka Legislature approved a rule change to allow members to make a second foreign trip in the same term, documents with Express show. Without the change, the South American junket currently under way and others that are planned would not have been possible.
The board included Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah, Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy, then Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar — who are all criticising the tour-happy legislators now. The board’s approval of a proposal from the chairmen of all the committees of the legislature came in January — when the state government had already declared 123 taluks drought-hit and an austerity drive was in full force.
Social Welfare Minister A Narayana Swamy later cut short his private visit to the US to supervise relief efforts in his district. Gowda himself cancelled a trip to Australia and the UK to participate in the road-show ahead of the Global Investors’ Meet.
A special board of the Karnataka Legislature approved a rule change to allow members to make a second foreign trip.
The state has since declared 19 more taluks drought-hit and made several appeals to the central government for money for relief measures. But the legislators want to travel and the state seems to have enough money to send about 100 of them on foreign “study trips. ” The total cost: an estimated Rs 8 crore.