Belgaum session begins, tributes paid to Gujral, Thackeray

The six-day winter session of the Karnataka Legislature, being held for the first time at the newly built Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, began with obituary references to former Prime Minister I K Gujral and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, among others.

Speaker K G Bopaiah moved the condolence motion in state assembly with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah paying rich tributes to departed leaders.

Shettar said Gujral was very good at building diplomatic relations with Pakistan.
"He was also the most prominent Prime Minister who gave good governance to the country," he said.

Shettar said Thackeray was a cartoonist and a fearless journalist.
He also said the Shiv Sena chief had a flare for politics and gave opportunities to others to become ministers.

"Thackeray never aspired for any ministerial post including Chief Minister," Shettar said.
Siddaramaiah said though Karnataka opposed Thackeray's views on Karnataka and Kannidagas,the state has to emulate him for his love for Maharashtra and Marathi which is lacking in Karnataka.

In the Legislative Council, V Somanna said Thackeray was the first leader who spoke against terrorism.

Paying tributes to Verghese Kurien in the assembly, JDS member and former minister H D Revanna said the Father of the 'White Revolution' was instrumental for making Karnataka the number two state in milk production in the country.

Besides Gujral and Thackeray,the Assembly also mourned the death of RSS Chief K S Sudarshan, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and senior journalist and columnist V N Subba Rao.

Siddaramaiah said he did not agree to former RSS chief Sudarshan's ideology, but he was a good person and belonged to Karnataka.

He said Subba Rao was called "Bhishma Pitamah" in journalism and he sought advice from him on various matters including politics."Rao is a model for upcoming journalists.

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