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Karnataka: Lok Sabha speaker addresses joint sitting, laments lack of discussion on laws | Bengaluru News – Times of India

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla on Friday expressed deep concern over the diminishing quality of debates in legislatures, lack of members’ participation in the law-making process and increasing instances of disruption.
He addressed a joint session of the Karnataka legislature on the topic of ‘Democracy – Safeguarding Parliamentary Values’. The monsoon session of the state legislature ended on Friday.
Birla said that protests and disruptions in the House would prevent lawmakers from raising issues of public interest and lead to the passage of important laws without much discussion. The comments come in the wake of repeated interruptions in the recent sessions of Parliament and various state assemblies.
This is the first time that a Lok Sabha speaker has addressed a joint sitting of the Karnataka legislature. Congress boycotted the event, with Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar contending that there was no provision for anyone other than the President and the governor to address state legislators.
Siddaramaiah, the opposition leader in the assembly, said: “The BJP government is setting a wrong precedent in the assembly. It has never happened before.”
Birla said that it was the duty of members, especially MLAs, to have extensive discussions on laws being framed so that no questions could be raised later. “For any democracy, debates, discussions and differences of opinion are healthy signs as long as they are within the purview of the rules of procedures and do not affect the dignity of the legislature. If we cross these limits, then people will lose faith in the system,” he added.
He also urged legislators to uphold democratic ideals and values, make the functioning of the House more transparent and be answerable to people.
Legislative council chairman Basavaraj Horatti expressed concern over the growing tendency of ruling parties to promulgate ordinances by bypassing legislatures.
“Bills are being approved without discussions and through the ordinance route. Ordinances are promulgated under inevitable circumstances. This practice will undermine the importance of the legislature,” he said.
He requested the central government to name one of the buildings in the new Parliament complex being constructed in Delhi as Anubhava Mantapa as a mark of respect for 12th-century social reformer Basavanna. Anubhava Mantapa is considered to be the country’s first Parliament based on the principles of democracy.
Horatti, who has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, handed over a petition to Birla. Assembly speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri stressed on the need for preventing erosion of values in the parliamentary, democratic set-up before people lost confidence in the system.
“We have been witnessing the erosion of values in all the four pillars of democracy — legislature, executive, judiciary and media. There is an urgent need for introspection from all concerned,” he said.
Kageri expressed disappointment over the Congress decision to boycott the address of the Lok Sabha speaker.
Meanwhile, JD(S) MLA K Annadani raised pro-Kannada slogans in the assembly, protesting Birla’s speech in Hindi. He alleged that the central government was imposing Hindi on states.
BSY wins best MLA award
The assembly on Friday gave its first-ever ‘Best MLA’ award to former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, recognising his long stint in electoral politics and strong performance as a member of the House. Yediyurappa represents the Shikaripura assembly constituency in Shivamogga.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said that the award had been instituted on the suggestions of Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, who had said that all legislative assemblies and councils should honour their best members.
“Considering the valuable contribution made by Yediyurappa to the proceedings of the assembly, his name was chosen for the maiden award,” Kageri added. Birla presented the award, which carries a citation, to Yediyurappa.
On Birla’s suggestion, a committee has been formed under Kageri’s chairmanship to select the best MLA every year. The committee will include the chief minister and law & parliamentary affairs minister and members from opposition parties. The award will be given to members of the House excluding ministers.
Yediyurappa served as the chief minister four times; he stepped down on July 26. He was first elected to the assembly in 1983 and was a member of the legislative council and Lok Sabha.

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