Notwithstanding the public outcry against the MLAs’ proposed foreign tour, legislators set to go on the foreign trip are adamant to go ahead with the trip.
Chairperson of the legislature’s estimates committee, Mallikayya Guttedar, asserted that they would go on the trip. He maintained there was nothing unethical with the trip, wondering why the media was making a big issue out of it. He said such study tours enable the elected representatives get insight into the best practices. He said upon taking the tour, committee members would be able to give valuable tips to the government.
MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy of the JD(S) said the controversy over the tour was needless, adding that the trip would be a great help for Bangalore’s development as the MLAs will get a chance to learn a lot.
Deputy speaker NH Shivashankara Reddy, who is supposed to lead appeals committee on a study tour, said they have no plans to go on a study tour abroad. When asked about the benefits of such study tours, he said the benefits would depend on the selection of countries to be visited.
“We have to select the countries from which we can learn something. As of now we, have not taken any decision on study tour,” the deputy speaker said.
HK Kumaraswamy, Sakleshpur MLA, said elected representatives could learn many things from study tours. Kumaraswamy, who was part of the committee that visited South Africa and Europe two years ago, said he would not go on study tour this time. “Earlier, we submitted a report to the government on tourism industry in South Africa and Europe. It is the responsibility of the government to take measures to emulate South Africa and Europe for the development tourism industry in our country,” he said.
Former law and parliamentary affairs minister S Suresh Kumar said that earlier, study tours were to be undertaken within the country. He said it was the then speaker KG Bopaiah who lifted the restriction and paved the way for visits to foreign countries. He said the tours may benefit, depending on the country visited. Citing example, he said his visit to the House of Lords and House of Commons in England enriched him as a legislator, with the British’s discipline leaving him deeply impressed. He said farmers can learn about drip irrigation in New Zealand and elected representatives can learn about efficient distribution of water in Singapore.