Cricket fever: Ministers, MLAs shun House to be at home

Cricket fever: Ministers, MLAs  shun House to be at home

Cricket fever gripped a majority of the ministers and MLAs as they stayed away from the Legislative Assembly proceedings to watch the India-Australia match on Thursday.

The front row of the treasury benches, where senior ministers and the chief minister sit, was almost empty in the morning.

Of the 225 MLAs, hardly 50 were present in the House to debate the budget proposals. Most of the members present were from the Opposition parties and they were seen watching the match in the lounge.

Television sets in the lounges are meant for live telecast of the proceedings of the House. But the MLAs used them for watching the match. Some MLAs were shuttling in and out of the House to update themselves on the latest score. Even the officers and the media galleries were deserted.

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa took exception to the absence of the members, especially the ministers.

 “Is this the culture? They do not have the basic knowledge of legislature. We do not meet all 365 days a year. We should not take the proceedings so lightly,” he said.

When the Speaker wanted to know the reason for the absence of the ministers, the ruling party chief whip P M Ashok said, “I do not know the reason. I think you (the Speaker) should start imposing fine on those who do not come to the House.”

He also advised the Speaker to introduce a biometric system for the members in the Assembly.

The Legislative Council also saw a low attendance due to the match. Chairman D H Shankaramurthy decided to stay away from the Council proceedings to watch the match in the afternoon.

According to one source, Shankaramurthy is an avid fan of cricket and thus decided to watch the game in privacy.

While the session continued inside, the watch and ward staff and members of the Council watched the game on the screens in the lobby outside. But the euphoria was over by 3 pm with the India team beginning to lose the game.

Actress-turned-MLC Jayamala was disappointed with the way India was playing and even commented to reporters that it was heartbreaking to see them lose.
DH News Service

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