Karnataka Congress leaders are mulling the formation of a forum for southern states that serves as an “economic alliance” to guarantee equal distribution of resources from the Centre. This comes in the backdrop of Congress MP DK Suresh’s controversial statement that southern states would be forced to demand for a “separate nation” if the “injustice” in distribution of funds continues.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also echoed the same on Sunday, alleging “injustice” by the Central leadership over a reduction in tax devolution, which he claimed has given way to a loss of more than ₹45,000 crore to the state in the last four years.
In this light, agreeable parties are coming together to discuss the possibility of forming a congregation. CM Siddaramaiah’s economic advisor, Basavaraj Rayareddi, said the proposal to form an “Economic Alliance of Southern States” was on the cards, The Times of India reported.
“The objective of the proposed forum is in line with the idea of federalism, where all states are assured of equitable rights and opportunities. The southern states need a powerful platform since their voices are not being heard,” Rayareddi said, as quoted by the publication.
The state’s Congress leaders have expressed major discontent after the interim budget announcement by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and scheduled a protest in the national capital on Wednesday over the matter.
Neighbouring states Kerala and Telangana are also likely to hold similar demonstrations in New Delhi in the coming days, the publication added.
Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar also spoke on the issue, saying, “We must raise our voice now. There is no other option but to protest. We are even inviting BJP and JD(S) functionaries to join the Delhi protest. For now, we are protesting on our own. Future action will take its own course.”