May 26, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Congress to hold protest in Delhi on Feb 7 against injustice to Karnataka: DCM DKS

Bengaluru, Feb 02: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar today announced that the Karnataka government would stage a protest in New Delhi on Feb 7th against step motherly treatment of the State by the BJP government in the Centre.

Addressing a press conference in Vidhana Soudha, he said, “Karnataka has been getting a raw deal in the Union budgets. The State has lost a revenue of about Rs 62,000 crore in the last 5 years due to this. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Cabinet ministers, MLAs and MLCs will also participate in the protest to be held on February 7. We have written to the Centre about the venue for the protest.”

Urging MLAs and MLCs of the Opposition parties to be part of the protest to seek justice for the State, he said, “The size of the Union budget which was 24.5 lakh crore in 2018-19 has doubled in 2023-24 to 45 lakh crores but the State hasn’t benefited from it. Though the Budget size has doubled, grants for Karnataka has only gone up a little from Rs 46,000 crores in 2018-19 to Rs 50,000 in 2022-23.”

“Karnataka is one of the most progressive states in the country with the second highest tax contribution to the country’s exchequer. Karnataka has got a raw deal in the Union budget in yesterday’s Union budget. The State hasn’t been getting a fair share in the last five years. Though 27 of the 28 MPs from Karnataka are from the BJP, they haven’t been able to get justice for the State,” he said.

“Budgetary allocations for Karnataka have come down by 40-45% since 2018-19 increasing debt burden on the State. As per a recent survey, the allocations have been coming down by around Rs 7,000 to 10,000 crores every year. Karnataka was getting a share of 4.71% as per the 14th Finance Commission but it has been reduced to 3.64% in the 15th Finance Commission. The State has lost Rs 62,000 crores due to this reduction. The State has not got many funds announced in the previous Union Budgets,” he explained.

The Centre had announced Rs 5,200 crore for the Upper Bhadra project but no funds have been released yet. They had also promised to provide funds for Bengaluru metro but nothing has happened. I have written to the Union ministers concerned but haven’t got any respite. This is nothing but step motherly treatment towards the State, he said.

“The State is going through severe drought. We have been appealing for drought relief from the Centre and we had appealed to the BJP MPs from the State to put pressure on the Centre but not a single paise has been released yet. We had even requested the Centre to increase the number of man days of MGNREGA from 100 to 150. Nothing has been done on that.”

“I am not going to compare Karnataka to Gujarat. We are just asking for our fair share. We thought the ‘double engine government’ may have helped Karnataka. But a detailed analysis shows that the State has lost Rs 62,000 crores in spite of the Union budget doubling in size.”

Invite Opposition to be part of the protest
“Protest has become inevitable for us now. All the legislators under the leadership of the Chief Ministers will reach Delhi on February 6 and hold a protest on Feb 7. We will be inviting all the MPs from the State. It is time for us to protect the interest of the State.”

“Always an Indian
Asked about BJP seeking apology from D K Suresh for his statements on India, he said, “I was born as an Indian and will die an Indian. The BJP is trying to politicise this. Suresh was only warning the Centre that such a situation may arise if the injustice continues towards Karnataka and other Southern states. Congress party is the one which has fought for a free India and today it is fighting to keep it united.”

Mekedatu
Referring to Mekedatu project, he said, “We are committed to make this project happen. The technical committee has a taken a decision yesterday. The Centre has to give us environmental clearance though. I urge the BJP MPs from the State to take up this issue with the Centre.”

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