Karnataka CM, Congress leaders protest against Modi Govt at Jantar Mantar

Karnataka Chief Minister and other Congress leaders protest.

New Delhi: The Karnataka Congress government initiated a protest at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, urging the Government of India (GoI) to allocate resources and funds to the state more equitably.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah clarified that the protest was not politically motivated but rather driven by the state’s interest. He highlighted the widespread participation, with Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, all 34 ministers, and 135 MLAs joining the demonstration.

CM Siddaramaiah expressed optimism about receiving a positive response from the Centre but underscored the paramount importance of safeguarding the interests of Karnataka’s people. He emphasized the need for rectifying perceived injustices, particularly concerning the 16th Finance Commission. Even in the face of uncertainty regarding the Centre’s response, Siddaramaiah remained hopeful, stressing the ongoing commitment to fighting for the state’s rights and taking the issue directly to the people.

Responding to demands for a White Paper on the utilisation of central grants, CM Siddaramaiah announced plans to present it after the budget, asserting that the budget itself would serve as a comprehensive report on the matter.

Regarding the BJP’s counter-protest against the Congress agitation, Siddaramaiah dismissed it as against the interests of Karnataka.

He highlighted the substantial tax contributions made by Karnataka to the Centre, amounting to Rs 4.30 lakh crore, and lamented the disproportionate return of only Rs 12 to Rs 13 for every Rs 100 contributed.

Drawing attention to the allocation disparities compared to other states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he criticized the present resource distribution system based on the 2011 census, advocating for a return to the 1971 census for a fairer distribution.

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