‘Some ministers are still in probationary period’

The Congress government felt the heat on Day One in the Legislative Council where its members number less than the Opposition. The initial nervousness in the treasury benches was visible as two Ministers, who were scheduled to reply to calling attention notices, pleaded for more time to offer replies. Ridiculing them, the Opposition said the government was relying on “probationers”.

Janata Dal (S) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah took Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande to task when he (Mr. Deshpande) sought to put off a reply to a calling attention notice by stating that the file regarding the reply had not come to him for signature. Taking exception to this, Mr. Nanaiah shot back: “If the file is yet to come to you even though the scheduled time for reply is over, does it not mean that your officials are not working properly?” Mr. Deshpande tried to clarify this by stating that he had returned the file as the reply prepared by the officials was wrong.

This irritated Mr. Nanaiah who asked why the Minister should keep such officials in his department. The Minister requested more time for a reply. Urban Local Bodies Minister Qamar-ul-Islam sought to transfer his question to Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil. Referring to this in a lighter vein, Mr. Nanaiah wondered: “How do you rely on probationers?”

Leader of the Opposition D.V. Sadananda Gowda said: “We are sparing you as this is your first day and you are in probationary period.”

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