"Siddaramaiah's accusations lack solid grounds": Pralhad Joshi ahead of Karnataka Congress' protest in Delhi
New Delhi, India: Calling Karnataka Chief Minister's accusation of reduced tax devolution share by Centre as "Unfounded," Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Siddaramaiah is playing dirty politics, and his remarks hold no solid grounds.
CM Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar arrived in Delhi on Tuesday night to lead a protest by the Karnataka Congress against the central government's tax devolution policies in the national capital on Wednesday.
In a post on X, Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday said, "Karnataka CM's accusations lack any solid grounds. They are so unfounded that their own party must be laughing at the sheer ignorance in CM's hollow allegations, after CM Siddaramaiah has presented 13 state budgets in the past, and is expected to understand how public finances work. Nevertheless, let me remind him: States receive 100 per cent of their SGST, and approx. 50 per cent of the IGST collected within the state."
Pralhad Joshi informed that the 15th Finance Commission did not recommend a Special Grant to be made to any State.
"Thus, the question of not accepting the recommendation does not arise. Since FY 2020-21, Rs 6279.94 crore has been provided as 50-year interest-free loans to assist capital expenditure plans to Karnataka Grants in Aid to Karnataka have increased substantially compared to the 10 years of UPA. Rs 2.08 lakh crore has already been released in the 9 years of NDA, which is an increase of 243 per cent over the grants of UPA," Pralhad Joshi said.
"And I am confident that Karnataka CM understands all this but he is still playing dirty politics in the State. The Congress party should be attending needs of farmers & people of the state, but since they have made unsustainable promises in the State elections, they are now trying to shift blame on the Central Govt," he added.
Stating that the Chief Minister's antics will not fool the public, the Union Minister said," The public knows that in July' 23, Dy CM admitted that "this year, (they) can't provide development." The CM's own economic advisor said, "The five guarantees have become a huge financial burden for (their) government." Therefore, these allegations are nothing but another failed attempt of the Karnataka Govt to distract the public from their own failures of governance."
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused the Centre of indulging in economic oppression of Karnataka and appealed to the people to join the protests in large numbers.
"Let us raise our voice against the economic oppression of Karnataka by the central government. Let's protest for our rights by participating in large numbers in Satyagraha tomorrow at Jantar Mantar, Delhi," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah posted on X.
Earlier, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said that the planned protest is not against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and that all MLAs should forget party lines and participate.
Earlier on Monday, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said there is a general perception across the nation that the non-BJP states are being deprived of their legitimate dues. The latest example, he alleged, is Congress-ruled Karnataka.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, rubbishing the Congress leader's charges, termed the allegations to be a "politically vitiated narrative" that is being propagated by some vested interest groups.
"Adhir ji, please understand I don't have the right to change as per my whims and fancies, that I like a state or another state, it is against my party politics. No way, I have no role I would have to it follow rules 100 per cent, and that's what I have done," Sitharaman responded, as she explained the procedure of how devolution of taxes to the states is decided upon by the Finance Commission.