Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday invited several senior leaders elected from Karnataka including Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Pralhad Joshi to join the Congress party’s ‘Chalo Delhi’ protest in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar today against the Centre over reduced tax devolution to the state.
The CM posted a letter, dated Monday, on social media, which invited Sitharaman to the protest set to be held today.
Taking to micro-blogging site ‘X’, formerly Twitter, he tagged Sitharaman, Congress National President and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, former PM and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda, Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Shobha Karandlaje and former Karnataka CM Sadananda Gowda, inviting them to participate in the protest.
“I have written a letter to all the dignitaries representing the state in Delhi, inviting them to participate in ‘Chalo Delhi’ protest to be held tomorrow. It is not a fight against any party, it is a fight against injustice, discrimination in tax share and grant allocation by the central government in the union system. For the future of Karnataka, for the peaceful life of the Kannadigas, tomorrow morning we have started a dharani satyagraha at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. It is the duty of all of us to convey the injustice being done to the Kannadigas to the Delhi government and ask for justice. I believe that all of you will forget your partisanship and join our voice for the benefit of Karnataka,” he wrote in the post.
The CM in a separate post also invited all leaders of the Karnataka BJP to the protest. In response to this, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya said he will not attend the protest but that he will hold a press conference in Delhi to “expose” the Congress government in Karnataka.
“I politely decline Karnataka CM Sri Siddaramaiah’s invitation to attend tomorrow’s faux protest. I will, however, address a press conference at New Delhi, to expose the devious, divisive & false propaganda of the CM & Congress with respect to tax devolution to Karnataka,” Surya wrote in an ‘X’ post.
What FM Sithraman, Pralhad Joshi said
FM Nirmala Sitharaman strongly denied the allegations of a decline in Central grants, saying it is a “politically-vitiated narrative” that “vested interests” are happy to go about saying.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi also called the allegations “unfounded,” and said CM Siddaramaiah is playing “dirty politics”, and that his remarks hold no solid grounds.
“Karnataka CM’s accusations lack any solid grounds. They are so unfounded that their own party must be laughing at the sheer ignorance in CM’s hollow allegations, after CM Siddaramaiah has presented 13 state budgets in the past, and is expected to understand how public finances work. Nevertheless, let me remind him: States receive 100 per cent of their SGST, and approx. 50 per cent of the IGST collected within the state,” Joshi clapped back on ‘X’.
(With inputs from ANI)