Each lawmaker could get gold biscuit during Soudha fete

Each lawmaker could get gold biscuit during Soudha fete
Karnataka’s lawmakers will get 13-gram gold biscuits as gifts during the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Vidhana Soudha scheduled for October 25 and 26 if the legislature secretariat gets its way.

The secretariat, which has been severely criticised for drawing up a Rs 26.87-crore plan to organise the celebrations, proposes to give away the expensive gifts to MLAs as well as MLCs. Each gold biscuit will cost about Rs 55,000 and will be embossed with the coat of arms, the state emblem of Karnataka. A miniature model of the Vidhana Soudha will be gifted, too.

“Yes, a proposal has been sent to the government to give away gold biscuits as gifts to legislators. It’s part of the plan to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Vidhana Soudha. If the chief minister (Siddaramaiah) agrees, we will present the gifts,” Legislative Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad said.

It has also been proposed to gift the secretariat staff, from the Upper and Lower Houses, silver plates worth about Rs 6,000 each. The secretariat recently invited President Ramnath Kovind to address a special joint session of the legislature on the occasion. Cultural programmes have been organised on both the days on the grand steps of the Vidhana Soudha.

Senior ministers recently expressed displeasure at the legislature secretariat’s “unilateral” decision to organise the celebrations. What irked them the most was that the secretariat started the preparations even before the government approved the plan to spend Rs 26.87 crore.

The Speaker lost his cool recently when journalists asked him why such a huge sum of money is being spent on the celebrations. He curtly refused to give any information.
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