BANGALORE: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah took an opportunity to take a dig at BJP leaders – LK Advani, Narendra Modi and Vasundra Raje Scindia — while replying on the debate on the budget in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
Reacting sharply to the criticism by opposition, particularly on BJP, who earlier had said that chief minister had no time to apply mind on preparing the state budget, which lacked his touch, Siddaramaiah hit out referring the interim budgets of BJP ruled Gujarat and Rajasthan governments. Siddaramaiah wondered why Narendra Modi chose to present an interim budget, while he could have given a full fledged budget. “The concluding part of Gujarat’s budget say that this was a vote-on-account. The finance minister there requested the House to pass the estimates for only four months and discussion on demands can be done after four months, when complete budget was presented,” he said. The CM also maintained that BJP government in Rajasthan also presented an interim budget.
Turning the tables on BJP patriarch Advani, Siddaramaiah said the former had turned down state proposal to grant special status to Hyderabad- Karnataka region under Article 371. This evoked a sharp reaction from BJP, who argued that the state government had sent a proposal to include all backward taluks in the state for granting special status. “It was UPA which speeded up the process and accorded special status, fulfilling the aspirations of the people of the region,” the CM said.
On the financial status, Siddaramaiah said that the state may lag behind to the tune of Rs 931 crore in tax mobilisation target of over Rs 62,000 crore. “The tax mobilisation in the state was expected to come down due to recession in the country. The situation is same in all the states. This is a nation wide phenomena and it has affected even Gujarat, which is said to be industrialised state. The GDP in all states, including Gujarat has come down. The only sector that has witnessed growth was agriculture sector, while industrial and service sectors are hit,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said that the state government was well within fiscal discipline parameters, as the deficit had not exceeded 3% during the last two years. The state government had also turned down around Rs 4,418 crore loan to keep borrowing under check. The budget has provided Rs 3,486 crore more subsidy for people, which triggers the growth, the CM pointed out. The BJP walked out even as the House approved the finance bill for four months.