The 10-day special session of the Karnataka legislature being held in the border city of Belagavi from December 13 came to an end on December 24 with both the Houses being adjourned sine die by the presiding officers. This was the 10th time that Belagavi hosted a session of the State legislature.
During this session, the situation inside and outside the legislature Houses was stormy following desecration of statues of Shivaji Maharaj and Sangolli Rayanna. In fact, the Legislative Assembly had to adopt a resolution condemning the burning of a Kannada flag in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.
In all, the Legislative Assembly adopted 10 Bills, including the anti-conversion bill, during its 52 hours of transactions.
Members cutting across party lines complained about the paucity of time for debating various issues. While Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri acknowledged the need to increasing the duration of the session, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he would take measures in this regard next time.
Mr. Kageri told mediapersons after adjournment of the House that he has taken up the issue of increasing the duration of the session with the government. He hoped that increasing the duration of the session would also go a long way in ensuring strict disciplinary norms in the House.
Responding positively to former Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s suggestion to act sternly to bring in discipline in the House, the Speaker said, “It (bringing in discipline) is a process that involves everyone, and such a process has begun.”
On allegations that issues related to north Karnataka did not get adequate focus, he suggested debating the issues in the next session to be held in Bengaluru.
It may be noted that the tradition of holding the session in Belagavi began in 2006 to send a strong message to people of north Karnataka in general and the border areas in particular that they are an integral part of the State. But on most occasions, the session in Belagavi has turned out to be a forum for settling political scores.
This time, former speaker Ramesh Kumar’s insensitive comments about rape drew the wrath of people from different walks of life, forcing him to apologise.