Bangalore, July 12 (IANS) A South African parliamentary delegation led by its National Assembly Speaker M.V. Sisulu visited the Karnataka legislature and interacted with the chairman and lawmakers of the upper house.
"The 23-member delegation, which is on a two-day visit to Bangalore, was overawed by the Vidhana Soudha housing the state legislature, including assembly and council. They were impressed by the facilities and systems in place for efficient conduct of the legislative business," Council chairman D.H. Shanakara Murthy told IANS.
Built in the Indo-Saracenic style in 1956, the imposing building in the city centre is also the seat of power as the state secretariat housing various government departments and ministries.
"The delegation was also briefed on the various activities of the state legislature under the parliamentary democracy we practice and its functions in a federal structure adopted to empower people at the state level," Murthy said.
The delegation was inspired by the rich legacy of the state legislature, dating back to the pre-independence era when the then Mysore rulers constituted the country's first of its kind over a century ago (1907).
"We are honoured to be in Bangalore during our five-day trip to India as we heard a lot about its global reputation as the country's IT capital and innovation city. Our interactions and free exchange of views with Indian lawmakers and officials reflect the historical ties between the two countri es, which emerged out of a long colonial past," Sisulu said.
South African National Council of Provinces Chairman M.J. Mahlangu told Murthy and a few lawmakers and state officials that as the world's largest democracy, India and its various states had a rich legislative legacy with best practices.
"As a young democratic nation in the post-apartheid era since the nineties, we have a lot to learn and benefit from the six decades of Indian democracy and its parliamentary system. Both the countries have gone through similar struggles to secure freedom from colonial rulers," Mahlangu said.
"We look forward to more such exchange visits to strengthen our historical association, dating back to over a century when Mahatma Gandhi lived in our country," he added.
The delegation will Thursday visit the campus of IT bellwether Infosys Ltd. on the city's outskirts to interactive with its top executives and have a firsthand account of its global delivery model for outsourcing software services, products and solutions.
The delegation will leave for Mumbai late Thursday.