BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has appealed to MPs from all political parties in the state to take part in Karnataka government’s protest in New Delhi on Wednesday against the Centre’s “discrimination” against the state in giving grants and depriving it of its share of tax money.
The CM has written to Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Pralhad Joshi and Shobha Karandlaje and all MPs, including DV Sadananda Gowda and HD Deve Gowda, requesting them to participate in the protest.
“The state is neither getting funds from the Centre nor permission to take up development projects. As responsible elected representatives, I request you to take part in the dharna and support the state’s cause,” the CM stated in his letter.
The CM along with his cabinet ministers, and Congress legislators and MPs from the state will hold the protest near Jantar Mantar.
In a series of social media posts, the CM also urged people to participate in the protest in large numbers. “Rallying against the Centre’s economic disparities, we call for unity in ‘Chalo Delhi’ on Wednesday at 11 am, Jantar Mantar. We stand against the unfair treatment in tax devolution and grants for Kannadigas. This movement is for Karnataka’s rights, not against any individual. Join us in this crucial protest, transcending party lines, for our collective future,” one of his posts stated.
The Union government gets funds through taxes that come from the states. Under the 14th Finance Commission, Karnataka’s share was 4.71%. This came down to 3.64% in the 15th Finance Commission. Because of this, the state received Rs 45,000 crore less in the last four years.
“Our estimation is that the amount would be Rs 62,098 crore in five years,” Siddaramaiah said.
He said the Union government promised to release Rs 5,300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Project in its previous budget. But, it did not release even a single rupee. The Centre has not given its clearance for Mahadayi and Mekedatu projects.
Although the state is facing a severe drought, the Centre has not released funds for the distressed farmers, he alleged.