Since 1980, Basavaraj Shivalingappa Horatti has represented Karnataka West Teachers’ constituency in the Legislative Council seven times. On Tuesday, the senior-most Council member was unanimously elected the Chairman. He had been interim Chairman for six months in 2018.
Mr. Horatti started his professional career as a physical education teacher in Hubballi in 1975. In the past, he has been a Minister and held portfolios such as RDPR, Primary and Secondary Education, and Law and Parliamentary Affairs.
In a brief interview after his election, he spoke on his priorities in bringing order to the House, which has been marred by unsavoury incidents recently.
You were elected amid din. What are your thoughts on the incident?
It is not a good parliamentary procedure. Standing in the Well and shouting slogans is not the right thing to do. Over the past 10 years or so, standards in the conduct of business in the House have fallen. Four decades ago, when I took oath, it was not like this. To get an answer for a question posed by a member on an issue of State significance sometimes cost as much as ₹4 lakh to the exchequer.
What do you intend to do about it?
My priority is to strictly stick to Parliamentary rules. Question hour means for an hour and not more. Right now, everyone participates, making the question hour longer. I will try to bring about these changes from the Budget Session. Parliamentary procedures have to be followed and young members need to be guided.
Do you think the members will cooperate?
The members have formed certain habits that are not as per the rules. I will try to change the mindset. I will seek individual feedback from them on the measures needed to improve House business and will also convene a meeting of leaders from all parties, seeking their cooperation.
Do you think the House rules need to be changed?
No. There are already rules and they just need to be followed.