Sunday, August 31, 2008

Formation of committee raising more dust

Formation of committee raising more dust
By P M Raghunandan, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Who should probe the alleged violation of contract agreement by BIAL in constructing Bengaluru international airport? A joint House committee or a Legislative Assembly committee?

The two Houses of State legislature have now locked horns over this.

While the Legislative Assembly members are of the view that the government announced constitution of the House committee, the Council members argue that the promise was to form a joint House panel. So much so that Council Chairman Veeranna Mattikatti had recently asked Speaker Jagadish Shettar to look into the records of the proceedings before taking any decision, official sources told Deccan Herald.

But the Chairman, before taking off to the US on Thursday, forwarded a letter proposing the names of six MLCs to be part of the joint house committee, to the Speaker, sources said.


As a result, the Legislature has not been able to constitute the proposed committee even one month after the government announced it on the floor of the House.

Minister for Tourism Janardhana Reddy made this announcement after Congress member D K Shivakumar raised the issue of lack of minimum facilities at the airport during the budget session. The members alleged that the airport lacks facilities like toilets, seating arrangements, and refreshment centres. They had termed the airport as bus depot and a godown.

According to sources, Home Minister V S Acharya’s statement led to all the confusion. Acharya, who is the leader of the ruling party in the Council, announced that it will be a joint House Committee. “So the the Council Chairman has been insisting that it should be a joint House committee,” sources said.

Moreover, neither the Opposition nor the ruling party is showing any interest in the constitution of the committee. “One month has gone by. None of the Opposition members have approached the Speaker to hasten the process of committee formation. Hence, it has been delayed,” sources said.

When contacted, Jagadish Shettar admitted that the Council Chairman has said there is a need to look into the proceedings of both Houses in this regard. “I was told that the Home Minister announced joint House committee in the Council. I have directed officials to go through the proceedings,” he said.

He further said that Opposition and the ruling parties have not submitted the names of their members to be part of the committee. “If they give the list, I will constitute it in two days,” he stated. \


* Lower House says it is only Legislative Committee, but Council Chairman argues it is joint House panel.
* Chairman asks Speaker to look into the proceedings
* Chairman claims Home Minister announced joint House committee
* Committee not constituted even one month after the announcement


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