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Updated: July 7, 2014 02:43 IST

The Karnataka legislature’s walking encyclopaedia

Muralidhara Khajane
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K. P. Naganna at the Legislative Assembly. File Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The Hindu
K. P. Naganna at the Legislative Assembly. File Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

K.P. Naganna has been serving at the Legislative Assembly sessions for almost four decades

Ask him the names of all the 225 legislators in the Lower House and he’ll come up with the list in a jiffy. Presspersons consult him when they have niggling doubts about which constituency a legislator belongs to.

K.P. Naganna, serving as a ‘jamadar’ (attender) in the Legislative Assembly, is a favourite with both legislators and mediapersons.

Mr. Naganna, who joined the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Secretariat as a ‘dalayat’ (orderly) in 1975, has been serving at the Assembly sessions for almost four decades. “Very few people were working in the legislature at the time. I have got only one promotion in all these years,” says Mr. Naganna, who will be attaining his superannuation in December 2014.

Mr. Naganna is rather shy and self-effacing, but when persuaded to talk, he humbly says, “I have only studied up to SSLC; I don’t have much knowledge.” And then he becomes nostalgic, recalling the days he has spent in the Assembly.

He has seen 16 Chief Ministers and 13 Speakers, and Leaders of the Opposition come and go. “I still vividly remember the way Mr. Gowda [H.D. Deve Gowda] spoke about issues pertaining to irrigation for three consecutive days in the Assembly,” he says, pointing at the seat where the leader sat making his point by thumping the desk.

Even the former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs has left an indelible impression on his mind. “To listen to Urs saab speaking in the Assembly was a pleasure. Similar was the experience with J.H. Patel, when he responded to debates in both the Houses. He was always cheerful and used to make the session lively using wit and sarcasm,” he recalls.

And what does Mr. Naganna do when the legislature session is over? “Being a staff of the Assembly Secretariat, I work with the Estimates Committee,” he says.

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