Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Legislative Council Chairman Veeranna Matikatti on Tuesday announced the formation of a five-member House committee, led by Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.C. Naniah to probe into the charge that cycles for schoolchildren were being purchased at exorbitant prices.

A general offer by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to the Opposition to come up with any suggestion for improving administration prompted the Leader of the Opposition V.S. Ugrappa to ask him for a House committee probe into the cycle purchases.

Mr. Yeddyurappa made this offer while assuring Basavaraj Horatti (JD-S) that the Government would withdraw the letter written to Karnataka Public Service Commission for recruiting 465 teachers and 59 principals in the Morarji Desai high schools.

After this, the chairman disallowed a motion of breach of privilege sent by the member against the Home Minister V.S .Acharya.

He upheld the argument of Dr. Acharya that the failure to implement the assurance did not amount to breach of privilege or contempt of the House.

Mr. Naniah thanked Mr. Yeddyurappa and asked his party colleagues also to congratulate him for the gesture, which was welcomed by the members including Mr. Matikatti. Mr. Ugrappa, who is retiring next month, drew the attention of Mr. Yeddyurappa to a report published in ‘Kannada Prabha’, which alleged that price being paid for the cycles was more than the market rate, triggering a discussion. Even the assurance by the Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visweshwara Hegde Kageri that he would ask the officers concerned to consult the newspaper reporter to inquire about it and make a statement in the House, did not pacify the Opposition.

Probe

Mr. Naniah asked the Minister himself to lead the probe.

At this stage, the Chief Minister made the announcement requesting Mr. Naniah to head the probe.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL