Karnataka ministers, Cong MLAs protest against Centre

NEW DELHI: The

Karnataka Congress

legislators on Wednesday staged a protest in New Delhi against the “financial injustice” meted out to the state in the last five years.
The protest by all

Congress

legislators and MPs from the state, including ministers that comes ahead of the ensuing

Lok Sabha polls

would demand Centre set right the losses allegedly incurred by the Karnataka to the tune of Rs 1.87 lakh crore, during five years under the 15th finance commission.

“Karnataka is number two as far as tax collection is concerned, Maharashtra is number one. As a matter of fact, this year Karnataka is contributing more than Rs 4.30 lakh crores as tax. If we collect Rs 100 as tax and give it to the government of India, we are only getting Rs 12-13 back, that is our share,” Karnataka CM

Siddaramaiah

said, while addressing the demonstrators at Jantar Mantar.
When questioned about the timing of the protest, with the 15th finance commission tenure coming to an end and demand for increased devolution to Karnataka may not find any voice,

DK Shivakumar

had said the intent of the protest was to ensure that Delhi takes note of the injustice and that it has the mandate to do so.

Amidst a proposal within the ruling Congress in Karnataka suggesting that Siddaramaiah spearhead the formation of a forum comprising southern states to ensure fair distribution of resources from the Centre, including tax devolution from the divisible pool, a protest in Delhi has been organized.
Siddaramaiah has repeatedly criticized the central government for what he alleges as “stepmotherly” treatment towards Karnataka and disrespect towards the federal structure. He has targeted BJP leaders in the state and their past administration for not addressing the injustices caused by the Centre’s policies.

In response, BJP leaders, including Union finance minister

Nirmala Sitharaman

, have vehemently refuted allegations that the Centre is withholding funds intended for non-BJP governed states like Karnataka. They argue that such claims represent a “politically-biased narrative” propagated by “vested interests.”

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