Karnataka CM Bommai to leave for Delhi next week over water disputes
Bommai is banking on meeting Union ministers, who are currently in the Budget session, to discuss Karnataka-related issues, along with MPs from the state.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that he is likely to leave for Delhi on Monday to meet with members of Parliament (MPs) from the state to discuss matters including inter-state water disputes, the upcoming state budget and possibly the cabinet expansion.
Bommai had earlier planned to leave on Thursday but had to reschedule for Monday.
“I am having a meeting with MPs from the state and legal counsels who represent the state in inter-water disputes. So I would be leaving for Delhi on Monday,” the chief minister said.
Bommai is banking on meeting Union ministers, who are currently in the Budget session, to discuss Karnataka-related issues, along with MPs from the state. He is also likely to meet the BJP high command to discuss the cabinet expansion in Karnataka, which has fueled the divide as legislators from the ruling party continue to express their displeasure of being overlooked.
The travel plans come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government presented the Union Budget with no specific allocations for states. Though Bommai and the BJP in Karnataka hailed the Budget on its ‘long term vision’ and focus on capital expenditure, the Opposition at the Centre and state lashed out for leaving states with nothing to show for.
“Bommai has failed to get grants to the state. This is a coward (state) government that does not have the courage to speak out in front of the Prime minister. Even the parliamentarians from the state do not open their mouths,” Siddaramaiah, the Congress’ leader of the opposition said on Wednesday.
The Congress party leader also alleged that there was nothing in the Budget for the state or any other section of the society, reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns, but only the rich.
The lack of specific grants to Karnataka makes it harder for Bommai to prepare for the state budget, scheduled to be presented in the first week of March.
Bommai has already said that it will be a budget that will look at upcoming elections like zilla and taluka panchayat, Bengaluru city corporation and the 2023 assembly polls.
With nothing to show for in his first six months in power, the pressure is on Bommai to make some big-ticket allocations to mitigate the bad press his government has endured so far. Bommai’s regime so far has witnessed the infighting and growing divide within the BjP in the state, allegations of charging around 40% commission from contractors to award public infrastructure projects and that senior members of the saffron outfit and Bommai’s administration have laundered ill-gotten money, in thousands of crores using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.