‘Will counter all allegations’: BY Vijayendra on CM Siddaramaiah’s tax devolution remarks

“We stand united in demanding fair treatment and justice for Kannadigas to secure our state’s welfare,” Siddaramaiah said.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 05, 2024 | 2:18 PMUpdatedFeb 05, 2024 | 4:27 PM

BY Vijayendra

The Karnataka BJP president BY Vijayendra has responded to the allegations made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday, 4 February, regarding the loss incurred by the state due to a reduction in tax devolution by the Union government.

Speaking to the reporters, Vijayendra said that the BJP will definitely counter all the allegations against the Union government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He further added, “Let me ask the Chief Minister, is it not his duty to come to the rescue of the farmers during the situation of drought? Unnecessarily blaming the Union government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi they are trying to escape from their responsibility.”

“They were voted eight months back and they have not been able to announce a single new developmental project, not a single rupee is being released to their MLAs,” Vijayendra said.

Also Read: CM Siddaramaiah says Karnataka lost over ₹45,000 crores in 4 years

‘Performing a political stunt’

Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai claimed that Siddaramaiah was performing a political stunt to cover up his financial mismanagement.

“Siddaramaiah is doing a political stunt. He is bringing a bogey between the Union government and the state to cover up his financial mismanagement and failures,” the BJP leader told reporters.

He also claimed that compared to the erstwhile UPA government, the funds allocated to Karnataka in the last ten years witnessed “enormous growth”.

“When we compare UPA’s and PM Modi’s ten years, there is an enormous increase. From 2004-14 UPA, the devolution of funds was ₹81,795 crore. Between 2014-24, it is ₹2,82,791 crore. Aid granted between 2004-14 was ₹60,779 crores and in 2014-24, it is ₹2,08,082 crore.

Accusing the chief minister of hiding the reality, Bommai said: “He (Siddaramaiah) is hiding this reality to cover up his mistakes. He wants to go to Delhi and oppose the government policy. He wants to make it north against south, Union government against the state.”

What did Siddaramaiah say?

Alleging injustice to Karnataka by the Union government with a reduction in tax devolution, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it has resulted in a loss of over ₹45,000 crore to the state in the past four years.

He also claimed that the taxes paid by Kannadigas were not useful for the state’s difficult times, and the money was going to the northern states.

“Karnataka has faced significant challenges with a reduced tax devolution share post the 15th Finance Commission, resulting in a loss of over ₹45,000 crore in the last 4 years. This injustice cannot stand,” Siddaramaiah said on Sunday, 4 February.

“We stand united in demanding fair treatment and justice for Kannadigas to secure our state’s welfare,” he said on X, with the hashtag “#SouthTaxMovement”.

‘Animals too will protest’

The BJP state president further targeted the Congress government for not releasing the incentives to the dairy farmers.

“In future, not only the farmers, but even the animals will protest on the streets,” says Vijayendra.

Elaborating more on the incentives to be given to the dairy farmers, Vijayendra said, “In Yeddiyurappa’s government, 26 lakh dairy farmers benefitted, and 80 to 85 lakh litres of milk was procured from them.”

He added: “Since the Congress came to power, they are sitting on ₹716 crore funds, that were supposed to be given to the diary farmers.”

“Due to this the milk production was reduced by 10 lakh litres, maybe they will blame Modi for this too,” he added.

The state president demanded, “If the state government is really concerned about the farmers, the arrears of dairy farmers’ incentives should be released immediately.”

Claiming that the Congress has failed Karnataka, Vijayendra further said that the “Chief minister and finance minister must accept the fact they have failed in all fronts in Karnataka, farmers are in distress and they are not coming to their rescue, Dalits have been deprived of their money because of transfer of their funds and now the state government is blaming the centre and Narendra Modi.”

Also Read: DK Suresh walks back ‘separate country’ after backlash

Keonics irregularities

Vijayendra further spoke about the allegations against the previous BJP government of close to ₹500 crore of financial irregularities in the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS).

He said, “I haven’t gone through the statement, let me go through it and will come out with a reply. But one thing I’ll request the minister if there are any irregularities, your government is in power, you can conduct any inquiry to bring justice.”

In November 2023, IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge claimed that the then-BJP government did not merely charge a “40 percent commission”, as his party had claimed during the Assembly election, but had collected a commission of more than 400 percent.

Amit Shah in Bengaluru

BY Vijayendra also spoke of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bengaluru. The Union minister is set to visit the city on 15 February to attend the Lok Sabha cluster meeting.

The meeting will finalise the candidates, who will contest the Lok Sabha polls.