Congress to protest Against Centre

Alleging injustice to Karnataka in the interim budget by the Centre, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar accused the BJP-led central government of not releasing drought relief funds and announced that the state unit of the Congress party, will protest on February 7 in New Delhi for not allocating proper funds to the state in the interim Budget.

Speaking to reporters at Kalburgi airport, he said, “The State BJP leaders must introspect about their inability to get justice for Karnataka from the Centre. They haven’t made any attempt to meet the Prime Minister and discuss the State’s interests and the injustice caused by the disparity. The people of the state have answered their apathy by rejecting them in the recent elections.”

“On February 7th, we will all protest to give justice to Karnataka. India will remain united…” he said.

Shivakumar said the state unit of the Congress party, including all MLAs, MLCs and MPs, will protest against the Union government on February 7 in New Delhi for not allocating proper funds to the state in the interim Budget.

He said that the Centre was not releasing enough funds for the state and that this was the reason for the protest.

“The Center hasn’t released any drought relief and it is not devolving enough funds for the state. The funds earmarked for the state in the previous budgets are also not being released, hence the protest. All MLAs, MLCs, MPs, Ministers and the Chief Minister will take part in the protest.”

“We decided to protest against it, and we (all MLAs, MPs and MLCs) will travel to New Delhi on February 6 and will hold a protest there on February 7,” he added.

He said that the Centre ignored Karnataka, one of the country’s major tax-generated states.

Asked about Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rejecting wearing vermillion, he said, “Who said Siddaramaiah doesn’t wear vermillion? He does wear it but he can’t wear it prominently like women do.”

Replying to a question on the rejection of entry to a Swamiji into a temple, he said, “I saw this on television. It is natural for temples to be cleaned in the morning and evening. I will speak to the Muzarai officials and the district in-charge minister to understand exactly what transpired. There is no place for untouchability; all of us are equal. All are allowed in our temples, irrespective of caste or creed.”

Asked about DK Suresh’s comments, he said, “India is one and the Congress party is the one that is keeping it united. Congress leaders have sacrificed their lives for the country. Suresh is asking for equal treatment for all states to keep the country united.”

Stoking a massive row on Thursday, DK Suresh, a Lok Sabha MP from Bengaluru who also happens to be the brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, claimed that the Centre was mopping up crores in taxes from the southern states while giving them a negligible share of the same, adding that there will soon be a demand for separate nationhood if the ‘injustice’ continued.

“The Centre is not giving the proper share of GST and direct taxes to South Indian states. We are facing grave injustice. The money collected from southern states through taxes is going to North Indian states. If this continues, we will be forced to demand a separate country,” the Congress leader said.

“The Centre is taking over Rs 4 lakh crore from us (from tax mop-ups) and we are only receiving a negligible share of it. We need to come out against this and question this government. If the government doesn’t go in for necessary course correction, all southern states will have to raise the demand for a separate country,” Suresh added. (ANI)

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