BENGALURU: At a time when there is a demand from various quarters to hold the monsoon session of the legislature at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, sources in the government indicate that it is not keen on the idea as it needs time to ramp up infrastructure in the building owing to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
The monsoon session is likely to be held in August.Built at a cost of over Rs 400 crore, the mammoth structure in Belagavi has hosted sessions only for seven times in the last one decade.Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, too, has joined the likes of Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti, demanding that the ensuing session be convened in Belagavi.
In a letter to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Assembly Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Wednesday, Siddaramaiah said that as per Sections 3 and 4 of the Karnataka Conduct of Government Business in the State Legislature Act, 2005, a session should be called in July. However, speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior BJP leader said the government is unlikely to hold a session in Belagavi this year due to Covid-19.
“We do not have the required set-up at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha. At Vidhana Soudha, we have already conducted sessions during Covid-19. We have the required infrastructure to ensure that members and others follow Covid norms. It is time-consuming to set up the same infrastructure at Suvarna Soudha. The government has so far not done anything in this regard,” the leader said.
Speaker Kageri had earlier said the government will decide when and where the session will be held. The last session was held in March.Citing rules, Siddaramaiah said at least four sessions of the legislature should be held in a year — 15 days in January, 20 days in March, 15 days in July and 10 days in November. But the government convened the legislature for only 31 days in 2020 and for 20 days in 2021, the former chief minister rued.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah said the government has failed to tackle the second wave of Covid-19. “Now, people are reeling under the fear of the third wave and they are not getting vaccines. There is no information on how the government is going to tackle the third wave. There is rampant corruption also. To discuss these issues, the government has to call for a legislature session,” he said.Citing floods and Covid-19, sessions were not held in Suvarna Soudha for the last three years. Annually, a sum of Rs 5 crore is spent towards maintaining the structure.
Belagavi’s own Soudha
Built at a cost of Rs 400 cr
Inaugurated in 2012
Govt spends Rs 5 cr each year for its upkeep
Seven sessions held so far
Built-up area 60,398 sqm
Total area 127 acres