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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Speaker promises steps to ensure 60-day session this year

 K G Bopaiah Speaker in Legislative Assembly addressing the press conference in Bangalore on 1st, June 2011. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K The first session of the Karnataka legislature, for the current calendar year, is set to be different from the legislature sessions of the past two years, and Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, as is customary, will address a joint session on the first day, January 30.

All the four sessions of the last year did not live up to expectations in terms of debate or the passage of legislation barring the last session in December in which there was a marginally better understanding better the ruling and the Opposition parties.

It was the first session after D.V. Sadananda Gowda took charge as Chief Minister in August and consequently, a better rapport was achieved with the Opposition, given the fact that the latter had focussed attention to bring down the Government of B.S. Yeddyurappa very soon after he assumed office in May 2008.

Speaker K.G. Bopaiah told The Hindu that he will shortly be initiating steps to ensure that the legislature was convened at least for 60 days every year, as envisaged under legislation — the Karnataka Conduct of Government Business in State Legislature Bill which was passed in 2005. In 2010, the legislature was convened for a mere 31 days and it was same in 2011.

In an effort to bring about regularity in holding legislature sessions as in the case of Parliament, and to ensure that the two Houses meet for a minimum of 60 days in a year, the coalition Government headed by Dharam Singh had brought forth the law.

The then Governor T.N .Chaturvedi granted assent in 2005 and ironically to this date (after the Bill became an Act), there has not been a single year when the legislature met for the stipulated period.

As per the the law, the opening session in a year will start in the second week of January with the traditional address by the Governor, and it will be for a minimum of 15 days. The budget session of 20 days will be in the first week of March. A 15-day monsoon session will be convened in the second week of July followed by a 10-day winter session in the second week of November.

The law has been observed more in breach much to the discomfort of the Government and Mr. Bopaiah who has been seeking the cooperation of all political leaders prior to the commencement of every legislature session.

Mr. Bopaiah said: “It requires the cooperation of both the Government and the Opposition and this is lacking. Hopefully things will be better this year.”

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