No injustice to North Karnataka in budget, says Dinesh Gundurao

Bengaluru: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundurao on Thursday strongly denied the charge that injustice had been meted out to  North Karnataka in the state budget. Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Mr Gundurao said that a misunderstanding had gained ground among a section of people about this.

“Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that his budget was an additional one to the budget presented by former CM Siddaramaiah in March this year. In the Siddaramaiah budget, allocations were made for various projects proposed for north Karnataka. So people need not worry about this," he said.

Asked to react to the call for an August 2 bandh given by activists from north Karnataka in protest against the CM’s statement on the region`s inability to fund its projects on its own, Mr Gundurao turned defensive and said that the party was for a united Karnataka. He said that the majority of JD (S) MLAs came from South Karnataka but the Congress had won seats in al; regions of the state. "Just because we did not get seats in coastal Karnataka, can we afford to ignore or do injustice to coastal Karnataka? The Congress party has never believed in this. Once elected, the leader will not become the CM or minister of any region or group. He has to serve the entire state,” he said.

On the issue of restricting media movement in Vidhana Soudha, Mr Gundurao said that he would personally speak to Mr Kumaraswamy on this issue  When  asked about the Congress stand on this the KPCC chief said the party had always stood for freedom of the press and there should not be any restriction on the media. "I do not know the details of his statement. I will speak to him,” he said. Mr Gundurao said that in the next cabinet reshuffle, the party will accommodate more Congress leaders from North Karnataka.There are six vacant cabinet berths and  the party would try to give more to North Karnataka legislators to show its commitment to the region, he added.

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