No gold biscuits to MLAs; Karnataka speaker clarifies

K'taka Assembly speaker proposes gold biscuits as memento for all members

The report said that the finance department had rejected the proposal and the chief minister is likely to reject it as well.

The Karnataka Assembly Speaker's supposed proposal to gift gold biscuits to all legislators for celebrating 60 years of the state assembly has stirred up a controversy, with various political parties questioning the decision. President Ram Nath Kovind is expected to address the state Assembly on the occasion.

"Not only are these items ridiculously overpriced, there is even a provision of Rs 5 crore to be paid as GST!" an official in the know of the proposal told ET. JDS MLA YSV Datta called the proposal "unacceptable" and said that MLAs who accept such gifts should be taught a lesson by the people. He asked the duo to limit the expenditure for the event at Rs 10 crore.

KPCC president G Parameshwara has condemned the high expenses proposed. He was in favour of presenting a wooden plank engraved with the emblem of the Vidhana Soudha to legislators.

Legislative council chairman D H Shankaramurthy, however denied this.

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"This kind of proposal is just not acceptable to us and there is no need to spend such money for such things".

"And if any of the other expenses don't meet approval, we will drop that".

The proposal - coming at a time when the state capital Bengaluru is experiencing some serious problems due to flooding and potholes on roads - has been criticised by many leaders. "There are no mementos", said Siddaramaiah.

BJP state general secretary and Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje has said that BJP legislators will not accept any gift. Law minister TB Jayachandra has gone on record expressing displeasure at this go-by of the norm that the state cabinet first clears the dates for a Legislature session.

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