Refurbishing certain chambers of the Vidhana Soudha is a pastime that politicians indulge in when a new government comes to power. This time around, it is Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment B. Ramanath Rai who is making structural changes in his chamber on the third floor.
Incidentally, a Congress leader had criticised Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, Political Secretary to then Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, for demolishing a wall in his chamber for making it ‘Vastu compliant’. Following the hullaballoo, he shifted his chamber to the Vikasa Soudha.
When this reporter contacted senior officials in the Legislative Assembly and Council, they did not appear to be concerned over the changes being effected by Mr. Rai saying that some times demolition of walls, if it was not dangerous to the building, could be done to accommodate more leaders/officials during meetings. However, Mr. Rai was not available for comment. One official argued that Legislative Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy made changes in his chamber, apart from other Ministers and officials.
A private member’s Bill moved by Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.C. Nanaiah in the Legislative Council, immediately after the wall in Mr. Munenakoppa’s chamber was demolished, is still pending with the Upper House.
Tthe former Chief of Bureau of The Hindu C.M. Ramachandra, who had accompanied the late Kengal Hanumanthaiya during the construction of the Vidhana Soudha and authored a book on the monument, said it was an assault on the sanctity of the building. “Hanumanthaiya had attached so much sanctity to the building by inscribing ‘Government’s work is God’s work’ on the building.”