BENGALURU: Vidhana Soudha is all decked up for the grand one-day diamond jubilee celebration on Wednesday. The day will begin with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing the special joint session of the Legislature, followed by a short tour of the Assembly.
After lunch, three short films will be screened. One by director Girish Kasaravalli on the construction of Soudha and another by director T N Seetharam on the journey of the state legislature through the years. The last screening will be a 3D virtual reality video on Vidhana Soudha building made by Master Kishen.
In the evening, cultural programmes will be held on the -facing steps of Soudha. There is also a programme to honour the three CMs who were instrumental in conceptualising, designing, constructing and dedicating the Vidhana Soudha as the state secretariat.
Families of K C Reddy, the first chief minister under whom the foundation stone was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru; the second CM Kengal Hanumanthaiah under whom the Vidhana Soudha took shape and construction work was almost completed and the third chief minister Kadidal Manjappa who inaugurated it, will accept the felicitations.
Siddaramaiah upset over celebrations
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has scheduled a cabinet meeting at 4pm on Wednesday triggering speculation that he is sending a message about his unhappiness about the celebrations. Not only that, sources in the government stated that the CM would attend to official business as soon as the President leaves the venue and is unlikely to take part in any celebration planned for the rest of the day.
Incidentally, the cabinet meeting which was supposed to be held on October 21 was quite deliberately rescheduled to be held on Wednesday.
Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad and Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy had originally planned a two-day celebration and presented a whopper of an estimate for Rs 26-crore to the Finance Department for approval. The list of expenses apart from ridiculous sums for decoration, food and cultural programmes also intended to provide gold biscuits as gifts to all legislators.
Faced with flak all around, Siddaramaiah also showed his displeasure by restraining the celebrations to one day and cutting expenses to a still generous Rs10 crore. However, the CM still seems to be keen on making a point to Koliwad and Shankarmurthy as he has scheduled a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, when the short film will be screened. Sources said there was no plan to postpone the meeting of the Cabinet ministers, which usually runs up to two hours.