Karnataka is in the grip of drought but for leaders it is time to chill out in Latin America.
A delegation of MLAs is planning to visit three Latin American countries in January on a fortnight’s “study tour”, shorthand for junkets by politicians and bureaucrats.
The estimated expense per MLA is Rs. 7.50-10 lakh.READ : Karnataka MLAs' 'study tour' to South America includes samba, tango music dinner
When the issue snowballed into a controversy, the BJP has asked its legislators to keep away from it. So, of the 30 who were supposed to go, now 18 have been given the go-ahead.
When the itinerary and other details were out, chief minister Siddaramaiah justified the visit by saying it was a routine affair.
“What is new in it? Every year they are going like this. In fact the legislature committee decides such matters. The government has no role in it,” he said.
The study tour of the estimates committee, comprising legislators of all parties, will cover holiday destinations such as Rio de Janerio (Brazil), Manaus (Brazil), Lima (Peru) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), besides Dubai.
The junket is for 16 days and 15 nights and the legislators will stay in luxury hotels. The itinerary includes a boat tour to the Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf mountains, visit to the Tijuca rain forest and the Amazon jungles — all in Brazil — and a Tango (dance) show in Buenos Aires.
In Manaus, they will enjoy Samba, Tango and Paraguayan music at a dinner party.
On their way back, there will be a desert safari in Dubai.
This is happening when 65 taluks in the state have been declared drought-hit.