Yet, the legislature held elaborate discussions on key issues
The 10-day winter session of the Sate legislature that adjourned sine die on Friday, will be remembered for the kind of heat that it generated, both inside and outside the legislature, thanks to the unrest among sugarcane farmers and the suicide of a farmer in front of the Suvarna Soudha. The intensity of the protest by sugarcane growers soon after the suicide threatened the continuation of the session as the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Karnataka Janata Paksha resorted to dharnas demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
However, the Chief Minister managed to launch a counterattack with the help of the firm stand taken by the principal Opposition Janata Dal (Secular) against stalling the session that was being held with the special purpose of responding to the aspirations of the people of north Karnataka and also to find a solution to the farmers’ problems through discussions in the session.
This was the fourth legislature session taking place in Belgaum, the first being in 2006.
Despite the farmers’ unrest, this was one of the rare sessions that witnessed elaborate discussions on several important issues, unlike the usual trend of proceedings getting stalled owing to frequent dharnas. Though dharnas went on for one and a half days over the farmer’s suicide, the rest of the session was hardly interrupted.
Though the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had launched an indefinite dharna in the Assembly seeking extension of the Bidaai (Shaadi Bhagya) scheme to all communities, he withdrew it when the focus shifted to the farmers’ unrest.
It was a coincidence that the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II issued clarification on its final award when the session was on. This paved the way for an elaborate discussion on the sharing of the Krishna waters, the lifeline of the people of the northern region. Similarly, the Kalasa-Banduri project was discussed at length.
The few interruptions helped the Belgaum session discuss and adopt 14 Bills.
However, whether the legislature was able to respond to the aspirations of the people of north Karnataka by translating the promises made into reality through result-oriented action, is the mute question.
A positive step announced by the government was the formation of a high-level committee to decide which of the government departments and establishments should be shifted to the newly built Suvarna Soudha.