Soudha decked up for diamond jubilee today

Soudha decked up for diamond jubilee today

Vidhana Soudha, the iconic seat of power in Karnataka, is all decked up for yet another milestone on Wednesday — a special event to mark its diamond jubilee.

The imposing structure has stood the test of time and seen 21 chief ministers since the unification of Karnataka in 1956. The building, which houses the state secretariat and legislature, is even called the ‘Taj Mahal of the South’.

Workers have been scrubbing the walls and floors of the imposing building for the past few days now.

Arches and silver-painted panels have been placed in and around the impressive building with the logo — Vidhana Soudha – 60.

Floral decorations have been put up inside the building at regular intervals. Both the houses of the legislature, the offices of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Chairperson of the Legislative Council have been decorated with flowers.

President Ram Nath Kovind, who arrived in Bengaluru on Tuesday, will address a special joint session of the legislature on Wednesday morning.

Thereafter, he will be taken on a guided tour of the Vidhana Soudha. Post-lunch, three documentary films — Journey of the Legislature by T N Seetharam, The Legislative Assembly Building by Girish Kasaravalli and 3D Virtual Reality Video by Master Kishan — will be screened at the Banquet Hall, which can seat 1,000 people.

The event has had its share of controversies. It was originally planned with a budget of Rs 26.87 crore. But following a public uproar over such “lavish” spending, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah intervened and reduced the budget to Rs 10 crore. The two-day event was turned into a one-day affair.

The schedule
Starting 5 pm, the Kannada and Culture Department will organise cultural programmes on the flight of stairs in the eastern wing of the Vidhana Soudha. There will be a small break for a programme in memory of the first three chief ministers of Karnataka — K C Reddy, Kengal Hanumanthaiah and Kadidal Manjappa.

At 6.30 pm, the flight of stairs will come alive with a concert by Kannada composer and lyricist Hamsalekha. A 3D mapping show depicting the achievements of the state government will be beamed later in the evening.

Only framed photos
Legislators will have to make do with framed group photographs with President Ram Nath Kovind as souvenirs of the diamond jubilee.

The legislature secretariat had earlier planned something far grander. It intended to present Rs 55,000 worth of gold biscuits to each of the 300 lawmakers. The move was dropped following a public outcry.

A photo session has been organised in front of the Gandhi statue on the lawns of the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday. Framed photographs of the occasion will be sent to the lawmakers in the coming days. They will also be given TA/DA for attending the special session. A specially carved wooden model of the Vidhana Soudha will be presented to the president.

DH News Service

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