Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today maintained in the Assembly that he was not on a path of confrontation with the Narendra Modi government, asserting he was only taking up cudgels for the state on issues concerning its interests.
Siddaramaiah, whose government had been complaining of fall in Central funds to the state, said, “I am not at confrontation with the Centre, but when it comes to the question of protecting the interests of the state and the poor, we have raised objections against the Centre.”
Winding up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address, Siddaramaiah was responding to the criticism from Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar that he was adopting a confrontational attitude towards the Modi government, which was not good for the state.
In his address reflecting government’s policies and priorities, Governor Vajubhai Vala had said on Monday that there was a net reduction in actual transfer of resources to the state and lack of clarity on central allocation and revised sharing pattern in many centrally sponsored schemes had affected implementation of developmental schemes.
Siddaramaiah said though it appeared that the state had benefited under the 14th Finance Commission, Karnataka had lost about Rs 7,850 crore in the last two years and reduced central allocations was a cause for worry.
He said the state could fund the schemes it had launched but “we are forced to take the burden of prevailing central schemes even as the allocation is dwindling.”
Siddaramaiah also said that as against Rs 3,830 crore sought by Karnataka for relief work in 137 drought hit taluks, the Centre had sanctioned Rs 1,530 crore and the state was pressing for release of the full amount it had asked for.
Rejecting the Opposition charge that the government had not yet “taken off” even after being in office for nearly three years, Siddaramaiah said it had fulfilled most of the promises made in the Congress election manifesto.
Siddaramaiah rejected Modi’s charge at a farmers rally in Belagavi recently that the state had not fully utilised the funds released and said Karnataka BJP leaders might have ‘misinformed’ the Prime Minister.
“As soon as the central funds were released, it was allocated to different departments and judiciously spent.These
BJP leaders have little concern for people affected by drought and are trying to play politics,” he alleged.