BENGALURU: After a gap of close to six months, the State government has convened a legislative session that is slated to begin on Monday. During the 10-day session, the government plans to table 18 Bills, including a Bill to amend the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, to ban online gambling in the state.
With the opposition geared to take on the government on several issues, Law and Parliamentary Affairs JC Madhuswamy says they have enough time to discuss and debate bills, and the issues that the Opposition wants to take up. “We are ready to give them time, just that they need to participate and not walk out,” Madhuswamy told The New Sunday Express. Excerpts.
After a gap of six months, a legislative session is being held, what are the preparations?
We are tabling 18 Bills, including some amendments. We will place two to three bills every day. The number of Bills looks more because we did not have a session for six months.
Since 18 Bills are being tabled in ten days, will the opposition get enough time to discuss and debate the bills before passing them in the House?
We don’t have anything to hide. Opposition party members will have sufficient time to debate and discuss every Bill. Discussing before passing a Bill is part of democracy. We are ready to give them time, just that they need to participate and not walk out. We cannot do anything if they walk out or disrupt the House on purpose.
Assembly Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri has written to all legislators and ministers about their absence in the House. How are you implementing it?
As our chief whip has moved to the cabinet, we don’t have a whip now. In the absence of a whip, I have the power to instruct them to attend the House proceedings without fail. I am confident they will oblige. We are calling for a legislators’ meeting on September 13.
Do you think ten days are sufficient to conduct a session that is happening after a gap of six months?
Unlike the budget session, this session need not be long. We need five days, but we are holding it for ten days. In case we require more time, we will bring it before the Business Advisory Committee.
Opposition party members are gearing up to raise issues like hike in fuel prices, National Education Policy (NEP) and many more. What is the government’s strategy to handle it?
We are capable of giving them answers.
The pandemic is not yet over, what safety precautions are being taken?
We are making it mandatory for all legislators, officials and media to get RT-PCR test reports as well as show their vaccination certificates before entering the House.