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Proposal to gift gold biscuit to Karnataka legislators amid rain havoc triggers a storm

As part of diamond jubilee celebrations of  the Vidhana Soudha, it has been proposed to gift gold biscuits worth Rs 50,000 each to legislators amid public outcry over recent cries.

Published: 17th October 2017 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2017 11:52 AM   |  A+A-

Gold bars (File | Reuters)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Potholed roads for you and gold biscuits for legislators? The Legislature Secretariat is planning to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Vidhana Soudha on a grand scale. As part of the celebrations, it has proposed to gift gold biscuits, each costing about Rs 50,000, to legislators.

Amid public outrage over the recent pothole and rain-related deaths, and apprehensions of adverse political implications ahead of the Assembly polls in 2018, this move may yet be dropped. The two-day fete will be celebrated on October 25 and 26.The Legislature Secretariat had decided to present mementoes befitting the occasion not only to the legislators but to its officers too. The Secretariat has submitted a request for a grant of Rs 26 cr for the celebrations.

With the proposal not finding favour with many ruling and opposition party members, Legislative Council Chairman DH Shankaramurthy on Monday said: “No proposal has been sent to the finance department seeking grants for presenting gold biscuits and silver plates as mementoes to MLAs and MLCs.

”Replying to questions on the mementoes, Shankaramurthy said he was in favour of presenting a wooden memento engraved with the emblem of the Vidhana Soudha.

He said only estimates of the expenditure have been submitted to the finance department which is yet to clear the proposal.With incessant rains battering Bengaluru and other parts of the state claiming many lives and floods affecting thousands, CM Siddaramaiah and many ministers are advocating the need to scale down the celebrations.

KPCC president G Parameshwara said: “Let us celebrate the diamond jubilee but  there is no need for expensive gifts like gold biscuits or silver plates.” Minister for Science and  Technology M R Seetaram also opposed the proposal and wanted the ceremony to be a simple affair in the light of floods in Bengaluru and other parts of the state.

The Legislature Secretariat should have discussed the issue with the government before drawing up the plans, he said.MLCs Marithibbe Gowda, Basavaraja Horatti, Puttanna, and Srikante Gowda aslo opposed the expensive gifts. Sources in finance department said, the expenditure for the celebrations is likely to be scaled down to about Rs 10 crore on the CM’s advice.

STRIKING GOLD

  • A golden gift for diamond jubilee fete of Vidhana Soudha.
  • Legislature Secretariat plans to gift gold biscuits, silver plates to MLAs, MLCs.
  • Each gold biscuit to cost Rs 50,000.
  • The move may be dropped fearing public wrath, especially in the light of pothole and rain-related deaths.
  • Secretariat seeks Rs 26cr grant for celebrations.
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