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K’taka govt stages protest against Centre at Jantar Mantar

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K’taka govt stages protest against Centre at Jantar Mantar

New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) The Karnataka Congress government began its protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday to demand a judicious share of resources and funds to the state by the Centre.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that the protest was not political. “Today inevitably we are staging a protest at historical Jantar Mantar. DyCM D.K. Shivakumar, all 34 ministers and 135 MLAs are participating in the protest. This is a protest staged in the interest of the state and people of Karnataka,” he stated.

When asked if he was confident of getting a positive response from the Centre, CM Siddaramaiah said, “Above the fact that whether the Centre is going to respond or not, the interest of the people of Karnataka has to be protected.

“I still have hopes. The 16th Finance Commission is constituted. This injustice should not continue. The central government should rectify the injustice. I have not lost confidence in this regard,” CM Siddaramaiah stated.

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When asked what if the Central government was ignoring the protest, CM Siddaramaiah said, “We will continue to fight. We will take the issue to people.”

Replying to a question on the demand of releasing White Paper on utilization of central grants by the Congress government, CM Siddaramaiah stated, he will definitely bring it out after the budget. “In fact, the budget is going to be the White Paper,” he stated.

Reacting to the protest by BJP against Congress’s agitation, CM Siddaramaiah said, “Whatever the agitation they have inside Parliament or outside, they will be against the interest of the people of Karnataka.

“Karnataka is paying Rs 4.30 lakh crore taxes to the Centre through income tax, GST, cess, surcharge and customs. For Rs 100 taken from the state by the Centre, only Rs 12 to Rs 13 is given back. Karnataka is getting Rs 50,257 crore.

“Whereas Uttar Pradesh is given Rs 2.80 lakh crore, Bihar is given more than Rs 1 lakh crore. Before five years, Karnataka state was getting Rs 50,000 crore. Even today when the budget size is doubled now, the state is only getting Rs 50,257 crore. Is it not injustice?” CM Siddaramaiah said.

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“There would have been no injustice if resources were distributed as per the 1971 census, presently the distribution is made as per the 2011 census. The states which have not controlled population are allotted more,” he maintained.

–IANS

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