The Karnataka Legislative Assembly Friday named former chief minister B S Yediyurappa the best legislator of the year 2020-21.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who was present at the joint sitting of the Karnataka legislature, presented Yediyurappa a memento.
Speaking at the event, state Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said, “Like the best parliamentarian award in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Karnataka from this year will have the best legislator award for members of the Legislative Assembly. Yediyurappa has served as an MLA, Opposition party leader, deputy chief minister and Chief Minister of the state.”
Yediyurappa served the state as a chief minister four times and stepped down on July 26 this year. He was elected to the Karnataka Assembly in 1983 for the first time and was a member of the legislative council and a Lok Sabha MP.
Later in the day, Birla addressed a joint session on the topic ‘Democracy —Safeguarding Parliamentary Values’. The special address to a joint session of the legislature has been organised on the last day of the session.
Birla’s comments came in the wake of repeated disruptions by the Opposition in the recently-concluded Parliament session in New Delhi, where bills were passed with minimal discussions amid chaos and disruption by the Opposition.
“We as legislators should make an effort to have more active participation while framing laws. There should be discussions and there should be no obstruction or ruckus in the House,” he said.
“When the Constitution was drafted, the sentiment was to make our legislative more aware, dutiful, honest and responsible so that a path could be paved for the social and economic betterment of people,” he added.
Birla emphasised on disciplined and dignified behaviour of parliamentarians and members of the legislature in their personal and public life to earn the respect of people. “There is a need to maintain discipline, honour and dignity in Parliament and legislatures across the country. It is expected of the members of the legislatures and Parliament to behave in a dignified manner in their public and personal life so that people draw inspiration from them,” Birla said.
Addressing the legislators in the Karnataka Vidhana Soudha, Birla said democracy is considered the best form of governance as people are at the centre of governance and the participation of the electorate shows the commitment of the nation towards democracy. “There is a need to discuss how to make the democratic institutions more answerable to the people. Parliament and legislatures are the souls of Indian democracy and it will strengthen when people’s welfare is given priority,” he added.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress boycotted the address by Birla despite request by Kageri.
Congress leader D K Shivakumar said his party will not attend the address as there is no provision for anyone other than the President or the Governor to address the state’s legislators. Shivakumar added that it was planned without even consulting the Opposition.
The Congress leader said the move had been opposed by the party at a business advisory council meeting during the ongoing session.
However, Kageri said he is hurt by the absence of Congress legislators from the event. “I am deeply hurt that Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and other Congress members have boycotted the event,” Kageri said while thanking JD(S) party members for accepting the invitation and being present at the event.
Meanwhile, when Birla started to address the joint season in Hindi, JD(S) MLA from Malavalli, K Annadani, raised opposition by holding the Karnataka flag and urged the speaker not to deliver the speech in Hindi.
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