BELAGAVI:The first day of the much-anticipated winter session of the state legislature in the Suvarna Soudha on Monday saw very little action.
The session, which was to open with a debate on the grim drought situation, instead saw a drought of legislators. Reason: most of them had gone to attend another big fat wedding, that of small scale industries and Belagavi district in-charge minister Ramesh Jarkiholi’s son in Gokak.
Of the 224 legislators, 182 had signed the attendance register but only 64 were present in the House for the debate. This despite CM Siddaramaiah’s request to his party seniors to stay away from lavish weddings in the wake of widespread criticism over the conduct of Ballari mining baron Janaradha Reddy’s daughter’s mega bucks wedding.
The attendance of legislators, cutting across party lines, at the Jarkiholi wedding, showed the political influence that the powerful sugar baron and his clan wields.
Jarkiholi had extended a red-carpet welcome to more than a lakh invitees, other than industrialists and politicians.
While the morning session saw skeletal presence of legislators, the numbers were anticipated to swell later. But Express found that only 64 members were present during the post-lunch session as well, which was entirely devoted to question-answer and debate on drought.