Shettar blasts HD Kumaraswamy over budget ‘discrepancies’

Bengaluru: Leaders belonging to the opposition BJP and the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition locked horns on Tuesday over the alleged ‘discrepancies’ in the budget that was presented by CM H.D. Kumaraswamy last week.

Participating in the debate on the budget in the assembly, former chief minister, Jagadish Shettar came down heavily on Mr Kumaraswamy alleging that the latter had presented a budget that glaringly ignores the interests of people of North-Karnataka region.

“Be it Hyderabad-Karnataka region or Bombay-Karnataka region, they have not found mention in this budget. Is this Mr Kumaraswamy’s way of telling people of these regions that since you didn’t vote for us, we didn’t allocate funds? It is very clear that Mr Kumaraswamy has ignored the N-K region completely,” he charged.

Training his guns on the coalition, Mr Shettar accused the Congress and JD(S) of conveniently forgetting the interests of these regions in the greed for power. “Greed binds you both and unfortunately, it is taking a toll on the interests of these regions,” he charged.

At this juncture, social welfare minister, Priyank Kharge countered Shettar saying that the BJP had no moral right to preach on Hyderabad-Karnataka region as it was directly responsible for denying the coveted 371J status to this region. “The H-K Region, has benefitted a lot post the 371J status that was the gift of the Congress party to this region,” he declared.

Interrupting him at this point, former minister and BJP leader Aravind Limbavali took objection to Mr Kharge’s remarks while demanding that he table the memorandum copy that was submitted to the NDA government over seeking 371J status. “The memorandum was prepared by then minister, H.K. Patil and instead of mentioning H-K region, he had mentioned all backward areas of the state, so the NDA government had to reject it. Had he mentioned H-K region, the NDA would have granted the status then itself. Therefore, the Congress should not misuse this forum to politicize the issue,” he said.

Water Resources Minister, D.K. Shivakumar too intervened and demanded that Mr Shettar come out with facts and figures about fund allocation that was mentioned in this budget as the BJP has been claiming that Hassan and Ramanagara districts and south Karnataka region were favoured.

“This is a malicious campaign unleashed by the BJP to drive a wedge between north and south Karnataka.”

BJP protests delay in LC chief poll

Delay in appointment of a permanent chairman for the Legislative Council triggered a war of words between opposition and ruling members in the Upper House on Tuesday. The opposition BJP members staged a walkout expressing their dissatisfaction over the reply given by the state government.

As soon as the House assembled on Tuesday, the BJP members reminded Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byre Gowda about the assurance to the House that the election to the post of chairman would be held before the end of current session.

They urged the government to hold the election immediately.  Mr Byre Gowda admitted that the government had made a promise in this regard but added that it was not correct on the part of the opposition to demand holding of the poll immediately. A few years ago, Mr N Thippanna had worked as pro-tem chairman for four months, he reminded the members present. Mr K.B. Shanappa of BJP sought to under what rules the pro-tem chairman was continuing in his post.

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