Reacting to Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi raising Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Suresh’s “separate country” remark in Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday slammed the Union Minister and called it “unparliamentary”.
“What the minister did was unparliamentary on two grounds. First, he raised an issue which has nothing to do with the house. It was not a statement that was made in the house. Secondly, he did so based on media reports which have not been verified. Neither of those is admissible in the house… Why was the minister allowed to misuse the time of the house in this manner?”
Amid similar uproarious scenes in the Lower House over the Congress leader’s statement, BJP leader and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the remark was against the grain of the Constitution and marks a violation of his solemn oath as a Lok Sabha member.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said his party will not tolerate or stand for anyone speaking about ‘breaking the country’.
Addressing the House, the Congress national president said, “From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, the country and its people are one and will remain so.”
Condemning the MP over his remark, Kharge, addressing the Upper House on the third day of the Budget Session on Friday, said, “Anyone who speaks of breaking the country can’t be tolerated, regardless of which party he belongs to. Mallikarjun Kharge will be the first to say that from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, we are one and we will be so.”
Stoking a massive row on Thursday, Suresh, a Lok Sabha MP from Bengaluru who also happens to be the brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, claimed that the Centre was mopping up crores in taxes from the southern states while giving them a negligible share of the same, adding that there will soon be a demand for separate nationhood if the ‘injustice’ continued.
“The Centre is not giving the proper share of GST and direct taxes to South Indian states. We are facing grave injustice. The money collected from southern states through taxes is going to North Indian states. If this continues, we will be forced to demand a separate country,” the Congress leader said.
“The Centre is taking over ₹4 lakh crore from us (from tax mop-ups) and we are only receiving a negligible share of it. We need to come out against this and question this government. If the government doesn’t go in for necessary course correction, all southern states will have to raise the demand for a separate country,” Suresh added.
Demanding that the matter be referred to the Ethics Committee, the Union Minister also called on the Congress to act against the MP.
Miffed over the MP’s remarks, BJP Lok Sabha member Tejaswi Surya, quoting national poet Kuvempu, posted from his X handle, “Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, in our Nada Geethe, says, ‘Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujaate, Jaya Hey Karnataka Mathe (Victory to Mother Karnataka, The Daughter of Mother India!).”
Accusing the Congress of playing divisive politics, the BJP MP added, “While the Congress Party has a history of ‘Divide and Rule’, its MP Sri @DKSureshINC plays the trick again now, wanting the North and South to be divided.”
He added that the tax devolution under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been far more than when the UPA government was in power.
“The tax devolution to Karnataka during UPA-2 from 2009-14 stood at ₹53,396 crore, whereas Tax devolution during 2014-19 under Sri @NarendraModi Ji Govt crossed 1.35 lakh crore,” Surya wrote.
Hitting back at the BJP MP, Suresh said the Centre has deprived Karnataka of funds and development.
Firing back at the BJP MP, Suresh posted on X, “You & the other 25 MPs have become spineless, while unfortunately, I cannot join your ranks, I continue to speak against this injustice.”
He claimed that the state’s share came down to 3.64 per cent in the 15th Finance Commission as compared to 4.71 per cent in the 14th Finance Commission.
“While Karnataka stands 2nd in Highest GST Collection, it is one of the last few states to receive grants. Karnataka was among the states that lost heavily under the 15th Finance Commission. The 14th Finance Commission gave #Karnataka a share of 4.71 per cent in the divisible pool of taxes. The state’s share came down to 3.64 per cent,” Suresh claimed in his post.
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said, “DK Suresh’s comment on South and Karnataka not getting their due is not just factually incorrect but devious. For instance, Tax Devolution to Karnataka from Center in UPA era (2004-14) was 81,795 crore. The devolution increased to 2,82,791 crore under Modi Govt (for 10 year period 2014-2024). “
“This is a 245.7 pc or 3.46 times increase. Similarly, Grants-in-aid from GoI increased to 2,08,832 crore (during 2014-24) from 60,779 crore (for 2004-14), an increase of 243.6 pc or 3.4 times increase. So, it is obvious that he was economical with truth. The agenda was to sow seeds of dissension, for political gains.” (ANI)