Legislator calls for scrutiny of clubs in Bangalore

Opposes dress code and seeks membership for legislators

What is the extent of land allotted to some prestigious clubs in Bangalore by the government? Why do these clubs prohibit a person wearing a ‘panche’ (dhoti) and a pair of chappals from entering their premises?

These were two questions posed by Congress member A Manju to the ruling BJP on Tuesday in the Legislative Assembly. In response, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and two of his ministers asked for more time to prepare a suitable answer.

Manju sought to know the extent of government land given to clubs such as Bangalore Club, Bowring Institute, Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association, Koramangala Club, Karnataka Golf Association, Cosmopolitan Club, Koramangala Club and Bangalore Turf Club, all within the BBMP limits.

According to the legislator, this is the third time these questions have been posed to the government, but complained that they have been ignored on previous occasions.
“B S Yeddyurappa and D V Sadananda Gowda, in their capacity as chief ministers, did not reply. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar sought a week’s time to reply to the questions,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said that despite the chief minister and two deputy chief ministers being present during the question hour in the Assembly, the government was not in a position to furnish replies to the members.

Earlier, about eight questions posed by the Opposition had gone unanswered due to various reasons, including the absence of Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa. Manju also wanted to know what steps the government had taken to nominate legislators to the managements of these clubs.

“While IAS officers manage to become members of these clubs, elected representatives do not get nominated despite the government allotting land for clubs,” he said, adding that the dress code of the clubs is also unreasonable.

“The clubs stipulate that people wearing dhoti and chappals will not be allowed inside. If Mahatma Gandhi or Sardar Vallabai Patel were alive, then they would not have been allowed into these clubs. Going by their rule, even Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah can’t enter.”

While Siddaramaiah argued that such rules are against the Constitution, another Congress MLA Narendra Babu said the archaic British rules should be changed.

Speaker K G Bopaiah said there was no point in debating the issue as the government has no immediate reply. He told the government to reply by July 30.

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