Karnataka MLAs foreign junket: Holiday “homework study report” out

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Bangalore, Feb 27: In December 2013, thirty Karnataka MLAs had embarked on a 16-day South American journey for a 'foreign study tour', that had came under media scanner as well as earned public anger.

The MLAs who were part of the controversial 'foreign junket' returned back home in January. Now, their so-called "study report" has come out in the open.

During that time, even Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had gone soft on the junket and had backed the once-in-five-years opportunity.

Moreover, Siddaramaiah had said the tour was not decided by the state government.

"It is the Legislature Committee that decides on such matters. MLAs go every year," he had said.

Infact, he told media, "Don't blow the incident out of proportion"

The junket was planned at a time when 65 taluks of the state were declared drought-hit.

Don't blow the incident out of proportion: Siddaramaiah had said

Unfazed by the criticism, 30 Karnataka MLAs took part in the luxury trip to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Amazon rain forests to apparently understand its flora and fauna and study the waterfalls in the Amazon forests and sporting activity. The fortnight long tour had reportedly cost the state exchequer Rs 2.25 crore (around Rs 8 lakh per member).

Earlier in January, a CNN IBN report had said that how brazenly the MLAs had been "copying text from the internet to file reports" on their so-called study tours.

While returning from the foreign trip, Chairman of the Backward Classes Committee of Karnataka Legislature B R Yavgal had said, "We didn't go for dance. We visited farms and dairies."

Here's what the MLAs have filed in their study report:

Nargund MLA BR Yavagal on Thursday told a news channel, "We saw the making of cherry juice and dry fruits marketing. We even saw the way they packed fruits. We went on a helicopter that landed on a 3900 ft glacier. The experience was tremendous. We went on a train. We saw sheep and cows grazing in open lands. This is something our government must focus upon. We visited a reservoir and were happy."

India Today report revealed another highlight of the report, "In New Zealand, we visited the rain forest and studied the serious negative impact of cutting trees. We went on the rope-way over the hills. We need to introduce this in hilly regions in Karnataka. Caste system is absent there. People are more disciplined. We need to introduce helicopter rides for tourists in places like Hampi, etc, in Karnataka. Scientific methods are used in agriculture here. More pay-and-use toilets are present there."

While boasting over 'skyline Gondola' joyride, the MLA gloated about deer spotting, sheep grazing and Australia's capital.

He said, "we enjoyed day chopper ride, we saw many water falls and many species of birds, glaciers and wildlife reserves".

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah hasn't seen the study report yet.

OneIndia News

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