The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government's move to send nearly 100 Members of Legislative Assembly abroad on a 'study tour' has come under flak from B S Yeddyurappa, who demanded that the programme be cancelled in view of severe drought conditions prevailing in large parts of the state.
"Legislators should desist from undertaking study tour to foreign countries when the state is reeling under severe drought. Their absence will hit drought relief works since they are ex-officio chairmen of the taluk-level task force that oversees the works," the former chief minister told reporters.
Speaker K G Bopaiah had recently announced that members of five legislature committees numbering around 20 each, accompanied by 15 officials, would be going on a study tour to Russia, South America and Scandinavian countries during September and October. The tour was expected to cost the state exchequer over Rs eight crore.
The Opposition parties had come down heavily on the government for the proposed foreign tour in view of the drought conditions.
On July 25, a PIL was filed in the Karnataka high court praying for a direction to the government to drop the proposed foreign trip of legislators.
Petitioner Neelakantappa, a resident of Tarikere taluk in Chikmagalur district, has contended that the elected representatives, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, should desist from undertaking foreign tours in the wake of severe drought in the state.