Karnataka Assembly Speaker blames state government, bureaucracy for delay in 'e-Vidhan'
BENGALURU: Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Saturday blamed the state government and the bureaucratic system for the delay in having a "digital legislature", with the implementation of 'e-Vidhan'.
'e-Vidhan' is aimed at making legislature sessions paperless, and also enables the automation of the lawmaking process. "In my two years as Speaker one thing that I wanted to do, but could not was implementation of e-Vidhan. The government's stand is the reason for it. I don't want to say anything more about it," Kageri said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, "Despite all my efforts and that of the previous Speakers since 2014, the implementation of the e-Vidhan has not happened till today, as the legislature has no financial autonomy and has to depend on the government for its implementation."
The process of rolling out e-Vidhan started in 2014 when a team from Karnataka visited Himachal Pradesh, the first state to implement it, to study the project, which is estimated to cost about Rs 69 crore, and it has seen several deadlines.
Urging the government to take all necessary measures to implement the e-Vidhan in Karnataka assembly in the days to come, Kageri said, "Neighboring Kerala, small states like Himachal Pradesh and others have implemented it, but Bengaluru which has the global recognition as IT city, not having e-Vidhan in its state legislature, is painful."
He asked the government to take it seriously and implement e-Vidhan.
Blaming the bureaucratic system for the non implementation of e-Vidhan, the Speaker said, "Unless the officials don't welcome new things in the administrative system and don't become active to adapt to changes that are taking place globally it is difficult to achieve new things and move forward.
The delay in the implementation of the e-Vidhan is the best example for this, he said as he hoped for good things in the days to come. Kageri was speaking to reporters highlighting the achievement of the Karnataka Legislative assembly in the last two years, since he took over as the office od Speaker.
The Speaker said in the last two years, five sessions have been held for 54 days and transacted business for 272 hours. Noting that most of the bills have been passed only after discussion, he said a total of 98 bills were tabled during the five sessions held during the last two years out of which 96 have been passed.
Question hours have been "successful" with 94 per cent achievement, he said of 11,252 questions received 825 were starred and 804 were given answers, while out of 10,427 un- starred questions, answers were given to 9,767. "Out of total 224 members in the assembly, 173 actively took part in the question hour," he said.
Kageri also expressed hope of continuing with the discussion on the topic 'One Nation, One Election' in the assembly that was left incomplete in March, 2021, because of the stiff resistance from opposition Congress, which called it the agenda of the RSS.
He added that the necessary preparations are also on to give away the "best legislator" award during the next session and guidelines have been prepared for it.
Responding to a question on him becoming Minister in the new cabinet led by CM Basavaraj Bommai, Kageri said, "This question should not be addressed to me, but to someone else..I'm now the Speaker, I have expressed my intention to make Karnataka legislative assembly the best in the next to years. I will carry out my activities in this direction."
To a question on a meeting of some legislators with Sangh Parivar background at his residence on Friday evening and speculations around it, he merely said, as he is the speaker, many people from various political parties come to meet him at his office and residence daily.
Kageri's name was also doing rounds for the Chief Minister's post.