Karnataka Assembly Speaker UT Khader came up with the novel idea of having all 300 legislators — 225 MLAs and 75 MLCs (Members of the Legislative Council) — attend the state budget session starting on February 12 with an “incentive” — a free breakfast at Vidhana Soudha (Assembly) to attract all legislators at the beginning of the day and ensure their attendance.
Why was Khader compelled to come up with this unique scheme? Well, attendance in both houses of the legislature was a cause for concern for the Speaker of the Assembly and the Speaker of the Council, especially in the morning. As Question Time is the first item on the agenda, members whose questions have been on the Chamber’s answer list are often the only ones present.
Introducing an award for the best legislator or keeping a list of members to sign in the morning and afternoon, which had no effect, Khader now decided to ensure participation through ‘gastronomy’.
On Monday, 10 selected restaurants will provide a sumptuous breakfast for MLAs and MLCs, with a spread that will include both delicacies and Ghee thatte idli, ghee podi masala dosa, and open butter masala from Rameshwaram Cafe; varieties of rotis from Halli Mana, Malleshwaram; and benne dose of Davanagera Benna Dosa. Other restaurants on the list include South Ruchi, IDC, Paakashala, JP Cordial and Sona Caterers.
In a conversation with National Herald, Khader said MLAs are usually ready by 8 am and after breakfast and meeting constituents, they go to visit ministerial residences or government offices. This makes them come home late.