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Siddaramaiah backs BJP minister’s comment on central govt

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister and the Congress leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah, on Sunday backed the statements of Minor Irrigation minister JC Madhuswamy, calling the union government ‘authoritarian” and threatening the federal structure of the country
PUBLISHED ON MAR 29, 2021 12:15 AM IST

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister and the Congress leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah, on Sunday backed the statements of Minor Irrigation minister JC Madhuswamy, calling the union government ‘authoritarian” and threatening the federal structure of the country.

“@JCMBJP has perfectly echoed what @INCKarnataka had been saying since last 7 yrs. We are also of the same opinion that @BJP4India is threatening the federal structure of our Country. Centre is encroaching upon the Constitutional rights of States,” Siddaramaiah posted in a six-part tweet on Sunday.

The statements come a day after Madhuswamy accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led centre of encroaching on state and concurrent subjects that, he said, was giving rise to regionalism.

In a surprising turn of events, Madhuswamy, a minister considered close to chief minister BS Yediyurappa said that the policies of the central government should be to help progressing states to do better and not pull them down.

“What has happened now is that you have encroached up state subjects, you have encroached upon concurrent subjects,” he said a seminar on ‘National Integration and Regional Freedom’ in Mysuru, about 125 kms from Bengaluru, on Saturday.

He said that instead of getting more liberalised, things were getting more centralised.

“The authoritarian rule of the Government of India is a major reason for rise in regionalism,” Madhuswamy said.

Bengaluru South Member of Parliament Tejaswi Surya, who was also on stage, tried to provide a response but the statements had already gone viral, helping the opposition cash in on the topic.

Siddaramaiah added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the centre was trying to forcefully direct states to amend laws that would further infringe upon the federal structure.

“Current version of GST has severely impacted the revenue of the State governments. Karnataka alone is facing a revenue deficit of 19,000+ Cr mainly due to the shortfall in tax collection over which our State has little control. Karnataka, in 2020-21, has not received 8538 Cr from Central govt’s tax share & 1,310 Cr from Central govt’s grant-in-aid. We did not get special grants of 5495 Cr special grants as recommended by 15th Finance commission,” he added in two posts.

The BJP won an unprecedented 25 out of 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that raised expectations of the calamity-prone state.

But all the parliamentarians from Karnataka are yet to raise issues like delayed flood relief, GST compensation or the reduced revenue inflows to the southern state, giving the opposition more ammunition to attack the ruling party.

Siddaramaiah said that the farm laws are an example of taking away the autonomy of States. He added that NEET has pushed Karnataka into a disadvantage and National Education Policy will put an end to regional education diversity.

“The imposition of Hindi in various forms is a threat to linguistic diversity of our country. The agenda of RSS is being pushed by @narendramodi government but unfortunately the local representatives from @BJP4Karnataka are silent on the atrocities on regional rights,” Siddaramaiah posted.

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