1. MLAs Go on Posh 'Study Tour' while State Reels Under Drought


    Bangalore, Sep 4 (IANS) : It's the local variation of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Or politicians enjoying themselves while people suffer.

    At a time when Karnataka has been hit by its worst drought in 40 years, affecting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people across its rural hinterland, several legislators from the three main parties, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), are on a "study tour" to South America.

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    The two-week all expenses paid tour of 12 legislators and three officials that will cost around Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million) was organised to ostensibly study civic facilities in countries such as Argentina, Peru and Chile. However, it is learnt, no appointments have been fixed, leaving the travellers free to "study" the exotic sights of South America.

    The three political parties are "united" in condemning their legislators, who flew out of Bangalore last Thursday, some with their families, for ignoring their pleas to abandon the tour but maintained a "studied silence" on the disciplinary action they plan.

    The Congress and the JD-S have an advantage over the ruling BJP in the blame game. They are questioning how Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and assembly speaker K.G. Bopaiah allowed the tour.

    Shettar, the third BJP leader to head the party's government in four years, first declined to comment on the legislators, ignoring appeals to postpone the tour by two or three months.

    Later, he expressed his helplessness, saying he and the speaker had advised the legislators against the tour. People in the state, however, have begun to term the blame game as "match-fixing' since all three political parties, facing elections in the next few months, have kept their legislators happy while making a public display of outrage and pointing fingers at each other.

    "This is a typical case of having your cake and eating it too," said M. Sadashivaiah, a retired school teacher. "All parties are fooling the people by blaming each other since they think when elections are held, some other issue will be the hot topic," Sadashivaiah told IANS.

    "I see this as match-fixing," added R. Sudhindra, a software engineer. "How can any of these parties claim they could not stop their legislators from going on this tour? No one will buy this plea," he said.

    Each legislator has been given around Rs.700,000 for the tour. Expenses of the family members on the tour will have to be borne by the legislators. Some legislators made matters worse by their response to questions on how they could go on tour when the state was reeling under drought. Congress legislator B.C. Patil told reporters at the Bangalore airport ahead of departure that "the world would not end if they go on the tour".
     
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  3. South American tour unites Karnataka MLAs like never before!


    Televised footage of the stalled proceedings in Parliament may show the Congress and BJP MPs exchanging glares on the floor of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha or accusing each other of blatant corruption and garnering motamaal during the acrimonious TV news channel discussions. However, there was plenty of genuine bipartisanship to be witnessed on an ongoing all-party study tour of South America by 18 Karnataka MLAs.

    Cutting across party lines, these 18 MLAs were united on the insight to be gained from the tour that involved a close look at tango-dancing in Buenos Aires and a feel of the sand at the world-famous Copacabana Beach in Rio. The MLAs bonded together while taking in the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru and boating past alligators at the Amazon Ecopark in Brazil.

    And so what if critics questioned the need for Karnataka to be spending an average of Rs 7 lakh per legislator — 10 MLAs had taken their families along — at a time when the state was reeling under drought and had sought emergency central assistance to the tune of Rs 11,489 crore. As the Congress MLA B C Patil pointed out so logically when questioned by a Times Now correspondent in Buenos Aires, if crores of rupees could be spent by the Indian authorities on the jailed 26/11 Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, no one should grudge patriotic legislators a study tour of South America.

    :facepalm:

    When told that the farmers were wondering whether a South American tour was necessary at a time when there was no water to drink for the cattle, Mr Patil responded that he had heard that it had started raining heavily in Karnataka and that this could end the drought. It could rain all over India if the BJP and Congress MPs and MLAs bonded together like the 18 Karnataka legislators in South America!
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar orders legislators to cut short Rs 1 crore junket

    Bellary, Karnataka: Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar Tuesday directed a group of legislators touring South America to cancel the visit and return immediately, following public outrage over the trip when the state is facing a severe drought.
    He also announced cancellation of similar 'study tours' to Russia and Scandinavian countries by two more groups of legislators scheduled for later this month and early next month.

    "I have cancelled the tours. The legislators who are already in a foreign country have been asked to return immediately," Shettar told reporters in this north Karnataka town, about 300 km from Bangalore.

    A group of 12 legislators belonging to all three main political parties - the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular - left Bangalore last Thursday for a two-week tour of Argentina, Chile and Peru. They were accompanied by three officials.
    The tour was costing the public around Rs.1 crore as each legislator was entitled to spend around Rs.700,000 for the trip.
     
  5. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    :fp: My State Leaders! :fp:
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    :rofl: :rofl:
     
  7. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The 13 Incredibles:


    Sindhanur MLA Venkatarao Nadegouda

    Aurad MLA Prabhu Chavan

    Mayakonda MLA Basavaraj Naik

    Sindgi MLA Ramesh B Bhusanoor

    Mohan M Limbikai

    Sakleshpur MLA HK Kumaraswamy

    Dr MC Sudhakar Reddy

    Chandrakanth Bellad

    Hirekerur MLA BC Patil from the Public Undertakings Committee

    Sureshgouda Patil from the Estimates Committee

    Pratapgouda Patil from the Women and Child Welfare Committee.


    :hail:
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    All Govts undertake these junkets as also the Parliamentarians.

    Our Presidents, too, are famed to go with their brood on special planes all over the world.

    They are the custodians of our Nation!

    They are leading by example and too bad if you can't follow their lead having given most of your earnings as taxes and becoming poor as a church mouse!

    And Chidambaram surely must be working overtime to add to some tax or the other to ensures such 'important issues' are studied abroad.

    Petrol hike I believe is due on Friday!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Dirty Dozen plus One!
     
  10. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Shameless fellows. They should not be given tickets in next elections and most are from drought stricken districts.
     
  11. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Why is ruling govt powerless ?
     
  12. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    K'taka has BJP govt and hence a fair target. It seems MLAs/MPS/Officers etc only from BJP states go on such junckets. All other states are made out to be doodh ka dhula.. That is the purport of the article.
     
  13. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    While politicians in others states are for sure not "doodh ke dhuley", it shouldn't stop us from pointing out fingers at something that is obviously wrong. When all these "tours" were being planned, the people of Karnataka were going through one of the worst crisis since independence. Wouldn't the people who voted them to power, served far better in this critical time, if the planning as well as the resources were directed to something more immediate and constructive? And if it makes us feel any better, MLAs cutting across party lines ganged up in ensuring that the tour went ahead as planned! This, as far as I think, has nothing to do with BJP or Congress or JDS. It is one of those heartless games played by the politicians on the public, that's all!
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I am yet to see a positive effect of any of the "study tours" taken so far. Anyone who comes to bangalore will first wonder if there is any civic administration. There is nothing which enthuses confidence in the city or it's future. The city roads are crying under the crushing load but we don't see new flyovers, underpasses. Something that is basic. Garbage disposal, water supply. I mean name it and there is a problem.

    Take up any newspaper and you won't even find any mention of any high powered committee meeting to discuss the city's problems and discussing ways to tackle the problems.

    By all means they can go on study tours but please actually learn something and come back and implement good practices here. Actually I wonder if these guys even know how to learn. And I really wonder they actually go to meet any civic bodies on their study tours.
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    No it's no because it's a BJP govt. there was a hue and cry during the earlier congress govts too. Only thing is probably there wasn't much Internet activism and certainly there was no DFI.
     
  16. I too dont buy that the issue is finding media coverage coz its a BJP Govt ,

    The MLAs who are being implicated in this fiasco are from both Congress and BJP

    Infact the MLA drawing the greatest flak is a Congress MLA (BC Patil)

    Its just that vigilance has off late increased manifold .
     
  17. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    They will cheat in that too.

    They should be forced to the minutes if the meeting with the civic bodies they meet to "study". form a project report as to how their trip was helpful and how to implement those ideas in Bangslore.
     

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