No politics, let’s work for Karnataka together, CM Siddaramaiah tells state MPs

At meeting in Delhi, CM appeals to Union ministers to rise above party differences
CM Siddaramaiah and DyCM DK Shivakumar share a light moment with Karnataka MPs of the National Democratic Alliance in New Delhi on Thursday
CM Siddaramaiah and DyCM DK Shivakumar share a light moment with Karnataka MPs of the National Democratic Alliance in New Delhi on ThursdayPhoto | Express

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in a rare gesture, held a meeting of all party MPs of Karnataka in New Delhi on Thursday, where he said there was a need for all Members of Parliament to work together in the interest of the state, with regard to issues of land, water, culture and resources. “This is a meeting in the interest of the state and there is no politics in it, as it is aimed at getting proposals and appeals submitted to the Centre realised,” he said in his opening remarks. The meeting in which all 40 MPs, including five ministers, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members took part, drove home the point that the state is above politics and party lines. “This is not a meeting to make allegations against the Centre,” the CM stressed.

The Congress government appears to have switched to a harmonious mode from its typical fractious interaction with the Modi-led government.

Ahead of the LS polls, Siddaramaiah had led his MLAs to New Delhi to protest against the Centre on the devolution of tax. This time, Siddaramaiah led his select cabinet colleagues for the meeting on Karnataka’s development, as five MPs from the state are central ministers.

The ministers and other MPs were in full attendance, keeping aside political differences. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of Steel and Heavy Industries HD Kumaraswamy’s gesture was the highlight, while Union Minister for Consumer Affairs Pralhad Joshi, Minister of State for Railways V Somanna and Minister of State for MSMEs Shobha Karandlaje also participated.

Siddaramaiah subtly pushed forward pending projects, advising the MPs to raise their voice both inside Parliament and outside. He said the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project requires approval from the Centre, Kalasa Banduri needs environmental clearance, besides efforts for Upper Bhadra Project. “It’s been a year since the Finance Minister made the announcement in her budget,” he said, appealing to Sitharaman to release Rs 5,300cr grant.

He put forth a proposal for AIIMS in Raichur as it would improve the Human Development Index in Kalyana Karnataka region, sought Rs 18,172 crore drought relief, and a push for the Udan scheme in coastal Karnataka. “We have submitted a proposal to consider Kempegowda International Airport as an Air Cargo Complex, which will accelerate exports and economic activity,” he said. He raised the proposal for an IIT in Mysuru or Hassan. The CM appealed to Somanna to provide more grants to the state. “We need to make a strong case before the 16th Commission to correct the injustice done in the 15th Finance Commission,” he said.

“There has been politics so far, and now the development of the state is primordial and we believe that MPs will work for the welfare of the state with unity,” DCM Shivakumar said.

Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara said he will submit a proposal for grants for modernization of the Home department, when they meet Home Minister Amit Shah.

CM to meet PM Modi

CM Siddaramaiah is scheduled to meet PM Narendra Modi at 8am Saturday. “I will also meet ministers of Surface Transport, Railways, Jal Shakti, Home and Finance,” he informed.

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