Karnataka Minister Satish Jarkiholi stated on February 7 that the Congress government in the southern State is organizing a deliberate demonstration in the national capital due to the over ₹1 lakh crore owed to them by the Centre.
Accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar, and the State cabinet, they are participating in a protest named Chalo Delhi at Jantar Mantar at 11 a.m. on February 7, denouncing the central government’s tax devolution policies to the State.
Mr. Siddaramaiah has criticized the Central Government for economic disparities, asserting his government’s opposition to the unjust treatment in tax devolution and grants for the people of Karnataka.
Karnataka Minister Jarkiholi, speaking to ANI, emphasized the importance of the Central government addressing their grievances. He pointed out that over ₹1 lakh crore is owed to Karnataka, despite numerous meetings with the Union Home Minister and Union Finance Minister. The protest aims to compel the government to heed their rightful demands.
He clarified that the protest is not directed against any particular party but is a struggle for justice for the people of the state, spanning over the past decade, including the tenure of the BJP government.
Meanwhile, State Minister Ramalinga Reddy highlighted the dire situation in Karnataka, with 220 taluks declared drought-affected, yet no relief funds have been released by the Centre. He criticized the vast difference between the taxes collected from the state and the inadequate funds received.
Similarly, KPCC Working President Saleem Ahmed expressed frustration over the delayed release of funds for drought relief, despite repeated appeals.
Earlier, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, voiced concerns over what he perceives as the deprivation of non-BJP states of their rightful dues, citing the example of Congress-ruled Karnataka.
However, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed these allegations, labeling them as a politically motivated narrative. She explained the process of tax devolution as determined by the Finance Commission, emphasizing that it is carried out impartially, without favoritism towards any state.
In conclusion, the protest by Karnataka’s government officials underscores their determination to secure fair treatment and rightful financial allocations from the Central government, highlighting the ongoing struggle for equitable distribution of resources.