Bengaluru: A House panel headed by energy minister D K Shivakumar, to probe irregularities in purchase of power, has not made any headway.
The panel was constituted on October 13, 2014, by then Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa following complaints of irregularities in purchase of power. Janata Dal (S) floor leader, H D Kumaraswamy, alleged receipt of kickbacks, resulting in constitution of the panel. From the beginning, however, the panel has encountered one problem or the other, delaying the progress of inquiry.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who attended one or two sitting of the panel initially, resigned as its member alleging non-co-operation by bureaucrats and lack of access to files pertaining to power purchased during the last 13 years.
Mr Kumaraswamy had contended that there was no meaning in continuing in the panel unless all official documents were provided to the members to study them in detail. Mr Shivakumar had reportedly issued instructions that these documents could be perused only at the meeting, and that none should be allowed to carry them home.
A member of the panel told Deccan Chronicle that the entity had lost its steam and none was interested in attending the sittings. After the panel was formed, it held five sittings in 2014, four in 2015 and two in 2016, indicating lack of interest among members. In all, eleven sitting were held in the last three years. Most of the members (barring Congress) opine that the panel could do precious little with the minister concerned being its chairman.
With about 12-13 months to go before elections to the Assembly in 2018, the panel could draw up a report and submit it to the Speaker irrespective of whether any irregularities in power purchased in last 13 years was detected or not. Recently, the strength of the panel dwindled after two members, K R Ramesh Kumar and Pramod Madhwaraj, were sworn in as ministers.