Even as public anger simmers over a spate of hikes in the cost of certain services, legislators have pitched for a big increase in their pay.
However, the netas will have to wait longer for their demand to be fulfilled as Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have declined to consider it under the prevailing circumstances.
Recently, both KSRTC and BMTC bus fares were raised, as also the toll for use of Kempegowda International Airport road.
According to secretariat sources, the legislators, who had demanded a pay hike during the Budget session in February, have renewed their demand recently.
They want their salary to be doubled from `20,000 to `40,000 per month. They have also demanded a substantial hike in their allowances.
Thimmappa told Express: “The legislators’ demand was submitted a few months ago. Recently, some of them had raised the issue. I have assured them that I will consider their request only after finding out the salary and allowances of legislators in neighboring states. The financial situation of the state will also be considered before examining the demand.”
The Speaker’s response belied any hopes for a hike in salary for legislators, at least for now, as the salary and perks of Karnataka legislators amount to over `1 lakh per month, the highest in the country.
Facing a public outrage against the steep hike in toll and bus fares, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too is unlikely to meet the demand.
“With water and power tariffs set to go up in a few days, there is no way Siddaramaiah would give a pay hike to the legislators, as any such move at this juncture would invite more public outrage,” a senior minister told Express.
BJP MLA C T Ravi too expressed reservations about getting a pay hike soon. “Right now, almost all legislators cutting across party lines are keen on the Lok Sabha poll results. If some legislators have renewed the demand, I am not aware of it,” he told Express.