Karnataka lawmakers mourn Mandela

Belgaum (Karnataka), Dec 6: Karnataka lawmakers Friday mourned the death of South Africa’s first elected black president Nelson Mandela.

The 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at home in Johannesburg in South Africa late Thursday.

Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa and council Chairman D.H. Shanakaramurthy informed the members of Mandela’s death when the last day of the 10-day session in this northern town, 500 km from Bangalore, began and all observed a minute silence as a mark of respect.

After moving obituary references, Thimappa and Shanakaramurthy were joined by lawmakers in paying rich tributes to Mandela and recalled his long association with India.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra, who spoke on behalf of the ruling Congress, lauded Mandela’s selfless sacrifice in freeing his country from decades of apartheid and securing independence for millions of people, especially blacks.

“As South Africa’s first elected black president, Mandela was instrumental in framing his country’s constitution, ushering in radical land reforms and implementing poverty-alleviating schemes to uplift the masses,” he said.

Opposition leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and former BJP chief ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar joined the house in paying homage to Mandela and recalled his contributions in freeing the country from racial segregation.

Former BJP minister and Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) president B.S. Yeddyurappa and other members in both the houses paid rich tributes to Mandela and condoled his death.

Later, the legislative session was adjourned for the day without transacting any business.

IANS