President to inaugurate Suvarna Soudha today

President to inaugurate Suvarna Soudha today

President to inaugurate Suvarna Soudha today

Suvarna Soudha, Karnataka’s second secretariat, will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee during his maiden visit to the State after taking over as the head of the nation, on Thursday.

He will inaugurate the three-storey building at Halaga-Bastwad villages on the outskirts of the city, at 12.30 pm.

The President will address legislators and members of Parliament on the occasion. Governor H R Bhardwaj, Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy, Union ministers and ministers from the State Cabinet, will be present.

Agriculture and District In-charge Minister Umesh Katti said the inauguration of the Soudha, constructed over three years on a 127-acre land at a cost of Rs 391 crore, would be the final stamp of the State’s stand on the border dispute with Maharashtra.

Second capital tag

Siddangouda Patil, Kannada activist and first Kannada-speaking mayor of Belgaum, said the Soudha would give the ‘second capital’ tag to the city.

People, in particular politicians, expect the Soudha to usher in a new era in the North Karnataka region.  It is expected to not only silence pro-Maharashtra voices demanding the merger of the Marathi-speaking areas in Belgaum with that state, but also send a strong message that the city and its border areas are an integral part of Karnataka. The demand for holding legislature sessions in Belgaum is not new. The Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government led by then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy conducted a five-day legislature session in Belgaum in 2006. It was also announced that a second secretariat would be built in the city to hold annual sessions.

The foundation stone for Suvarna Soudha was laid at Vaccine Depot, Tilakwadi, by Kumaraswamy during the session.  After the BJP government came to power, the location was changed to Halaga-Bastwad village on the national highway. The then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa laid the foundation stone on January 22, 2009.