Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge said that if the State government expedited the release of its share of Rs. 800 crore for the railway projects taken up under cost-sharing basis, work would be completed quickly.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Kharge said that for the past four months, the State government had not released any funds for the railway projects taken up on cost-sharing basis.
He said that the State government should speed up the process of acquisition of land for four projects — Kottur-Harihar, Sakleshpur-Chikmagalur, Hassan-Bangalore and Kolar-Chickballapur.
The early release of the State’s share of funds for the projects would help the Railways release its contribution of Rs. 800 crore, he said.
Referring to the talk of merger of the Karnataka Janata Paksha, led by B.S. Yeddyurappa, and the BJP in the State as inconsequential, he said that it would not have any impact on the Congress’ fortune.
Mr. Kharge said that the claim of the BJP leaders that the Congress came to power because of division of votes between the BJP and the KJP was a bundle of lies. He said the Congress’ vote share was much higher than the combined votes secured by the BJP and the KJP in the Assembly elections.
Mr. Kharge said that the KJP and the BJP leaders were living in a world of dreams that the merger of the two parties would result in a turnaround of their fortunes in State politics and help them to do well in the Lok Sabha elections.
“Even in the 2008 Assembly elections, which saw the BJP assuming power in the State, the verdict of the people was not in favour of the BJP. In 2008, the Congress secured one per cent more vote than the BJP,” he said.
He said that the KJP and the BJP leaders had forgotten the fact that a significant chunk of secular votes were transferred to the KJP in the last Assembly elections after Mr. Yeddyurappa declared that he had distanced himself from the communal politics of the BJP, and many secular leaders joined that party.
Mr. Kharge told a questioner that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had started implementing the promises made in the party manifesto. He said, “We have to give time to any government to implement all the promises made to the people.”
In a short time, Mr. Siddaramaiah had made an impact by implementing some of the key promises, including Re. 1 per kg rice to BPL families and laying stress on infrastructure development in the budget, made in the manifesto.