What catches the eye of every person who troops into the Vidhana Soudha during the budget session is a mounting pile of sundry items, such matchboxes, cigarette lighters, medicines, food packets and water bottles near the security check counter.
The police conduct a thorough check of all visitors at the four entrances of the Secretariat and ask them to leave all their belongings before being allowed inside.
“We are not taking any risk on security,” said a constable. “Visitors can collect their items when they return. It’s not that we want to trouble the visitors. Some people forget to return for their belongings,” the police at the main entrance of the Legislative Assembly told The Hindu. Such unclaimed items are either thrown away or given to the gardeners, he added.
However, some of the elderly were angry over the stricture, especially leaving their medicines. “How can I identify my medicines when I return from this pile? I cannot read the label which is in English,” said 65-year-old Haveri farmer Veerana Patil, showing his bottle of tablets. But there are those who manage to escape this stringent check. A policeman said some visitors hand over items to MLAs and MLCs and collect them later inside the Vidhana Soudha.
Thanks to the ongoing legislature session, there has been an increase in the flow of people to the Vidhana Soudha, to meet their elected representatives and Ministers. Many who come from remote villages, armed with letters from elected representatives, are turned back on the pretext that they don’t have ID cards, complained Narayana Gowda, a student from Hassan.