The two Opposition parties — the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) — were the target of attack by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday. He said the two parties were turning restless as the people were responding well to the governance of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the proof of which was that the party had won all the elections in the State since the May 2008 Legislative Assembly elections.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, after holding discussions with senior Ministers, released a booklet ‘Clarity in Stand — Performance Aplenty' as a response to the release of a booklet against his administration brought out by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. Most of the Cabinet Ministers, including Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya, Minister for Law S. Suresh Kumar, Minister for Forests C.H. Vijayashankar and Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai, attended the programme.
Referring to the Congress booklet, the Chief Minister said “it was portrayed as though the Karnataka Government is depending upon Central grants for its plan expenditure, and has failed in mobilising resources. The fact is that the State's share forms a part and parcel of the centrally sponsored schemes. Further, the Central grants are nothing but a portion of the taxes collected by the Centre from the States. It is well known that the devolution of funds from the Centre to the States is an integral part of the federal structure, and the people of the State are also aware that the Union Government, headed by whichever party, invariably has been formulating centrally sponsored schemes besides providing financial assistance to the States. Hence the funds received by the State are not a charity from the Centre”.
He said the Congress booklet gave a negative picture of the State's finances. “If it were to be true, would the Union Planning Commission and the UPA Government appreciate the financial management of the State? Would it be possible to receive the commendation of the Reserve Bank of India and the 13th Finance Commission?”
Referring to the party's remarks against a separate agriculture budget, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “Only sinister minds can make negative remarks on a separate agriculture budget which has drawn the appreciation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The budgetary allocation for agriculture and allied sectors has been raised to Rs. 17,800 crore from Rs. 11,000 crore last year. Under the Suvarna Bhoomi scheme, Rs. 10,000 is being released in two instalments to each farmer to purchase agricultural inputs. The scheme will benefit nearly ten lakh small and marginal farmers.”
He said the Congress party had ruled the State for nearly five decades and through the years had never been sensitive to the problems of the people. ‘Garibi hatao' has remained a mere slogan. In contrast, the BJP Government in the State, in a limited period of three years, has recorded good progress in several spheres of activity and “when my Government completes its term, the fear in the Congress and the JD(S) is that they will be forgotten by the people. It is this fear that is prompting them to attempt to pull down the Government of the day. The more they try, the Government will emerge even stronger”.