Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and other senior party leaders on Wednesday held a protest against the Central leadership in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar over funds, reduced tax devolution and unfair resource distribution to the state.
CM Siddaramaiah arrived at Jantar Mantar along with his deputy Shivakumar and several other leaders including the state Home Minister G Parameshwara, Minister of Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development MB Patil and Laxman Savadi on Wednesday to start off the protest.
Speaking in Jantar Mantar, the CM said, “Karnataka is number two as far as tax collection is concerned, Maharashtra is number one. As a matter of fact, this year Karnataka is contributing more than ₹4.30 lakh crores as tax. If we collect ₹100 as tax and give it to the Govt of India, we are only getting ₹12-13 back, that is our share.”
DK Shivakumar, who is also the Chief of the Karnataka Congress, echoed the sentiments, saying, “Karnataka is the second biggest state that is giving highest revenue to this country. We are asking for our rights, we are asking for our share. We have come here to show that we all are fighting here for the people of Karnataka.”
The movement received some support from other factions, with Shiv Sena (UBT faction) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi saying, “Over a period of time, the Centre has used the GST collection as a political tool where states governed by the opposition are usually deprived of the funds or not given in a timely manner. (Karnataka CM) Siddaramaiah is saying that over ₹65,000 crore worth of funds due to Karnataka aren’t being given to them.”
Reacting to the allegations levelled against the Central government, Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh called the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state a “government of liars”. “Karnataka’s Congress government is a government of liars. Rahul Gandhi takes out Bharat Jodo Yatra, while, Congress is doing Bharat Todo Yatra,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Karnataka BJP leaders including MPs held a protest of their own in in front of the Gandhi statue in the Parliament, alleging that the ruling Congress has “misused” funds allocated to them.
(With agency inputs)