NDA passed SC/ST Act in haste for poll gain, says Siddaramaiah

BIDAR: Taking exception to the ‘alacrity’ shown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP led NDA government in passing the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, which he said, has been done with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha elections, former chief minister Siddaramaiah has asked Mr Modi to exhibit his real concern for the Dalits by allocating funds under the Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes(SCP) and Tribal Sub Plan(TSP) in commensurate with the percentage of their population.

Addressing the ‘Jana Dhwani Yatre’ organised here on Monday, Mr Siddaramaiah remarked that Mr Modi had no moral right to speak on social justice as he had not launched any programmes for the welfare of downtrodden communities . “When my government was in office, I allocated 24 per cent funds for SCP and three per cent for TSP programmes. While last year, my government spent Rs 28,000 crore, this year it will be over Rs 30,000 crore.

Compared to this, the funds allocated by the Centre last year for the entire country was Rs 54,000 crore, which is very meagre. Karnataka stands next only to Andhra Pradesh in such allocation. The PM must come up with a law making it mandatory to spend funds commensurate with the percentage of the SC/ST population under the SCP/TSP programmes,” Mr Siddaramaiah said. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge felt people should vote for the Congress in the coming election because of three reasons – to save the Constitution, democracy and also the secular fabric of the nation.

“ Mr Modi will try to brainwash you, but don’t fall prey to his words. Moreover nobody in this country can finish off the Congress,” he said.  KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao said that though the state had elected 17 BJP MPs in the last election in 2014, their contribution to the state’s cause was nil. “During the last four years, did Mr Yeddyurappa or his MPs raise any issues concerning Karnataka in the Lok Sabha?” he asked.

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