From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Feb 11: With Union Home Minister Amit Shah arriving in Karnataka to participate in a function on Sunday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has asked him to answer when will the drought relief funds be released to the State.
Posting his questions to Amit Shah on the social media platform X, the Chief Minister reminded him that four months have elapsed since Karnataka submitted its report to the Centre on the drought situation in the State and even the Central Study Team has visited and submitted its report.
As per the rules, the Union Home Minister has to chair a high level meeting to examine the Central Study Team’s report and grant approval for releasing drought relief to the State.
“But he (Amit Shah) is so busy that he is unable to find time for chairing the high level meeting,” the Chief Minister sarcastically remarked and asked him to state when the funds will be released before setting foot in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah also mentioned that the Mahadayi Kalasa Nala Diversion scheme aimed at ensuring drinking water to towns and villages around Hubbali-Dharwad has been denied approval by the National Wildlife Board at a meeting presided over the Union Forests and Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav. “Are you coming to Karnataka to convey this message to the people,” the Chief Minister asked.
The Chief Minister also took potshots at Amit Shah for Centre’s refusal to allow Food Corporation of India from selling its rice stock for the Anna Bhagya scheme at a cost of Rs 33 per kg and said the same Centre is now planning to sell the rice at Rs 29 per kg under the “Bharat Brand.”
“Why are you ignoring the hunger of Kannadigas?,” he asked Amit Shah.
The Upper Bhadra Canal project aimed at supplying water to about 2.5 lac hectares was promised Rs 5,300 crore Central assistance in the budget one year ago but not a single paisa has been released. “Why Krishna, Cauvery, Mahadayi, Mekedatu and all irrigation projects in Karnataka are ignored by the Centre,” the Chief Minister asked.
The Chief Minister informed the Union Home Minister that the State is in second place in tax collection among all States in the country. But the 15th Finance Commission has slashed the tax devolution ratio from 4.7% to 3.74%. “Why this discrimination and injustice to Kannadiagas,” Siddaramaiah asked Amit Shah.