Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) leaders in the two Houses of the State Legislature on Thursday criticised the budget saying that the Chief Minister had betrayed the people by failing to fulfil the promises made by him during the Assembly elections.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Veeranna Mathikatti and Y.S.V. Datta of the Janata Dal (S) alleged that the allocation for irrigation had not been increased and it should have been at least in the range of Rs. 7,000 crore. No health insurance had been given to the poor, they said.


The leaders said no new programme had been formulated to make up the deficit of 3,000 MW of power. They asked how Mr. Yeddyurappa could have given free power to the farmers. Already, the villages were not getting electricity. The announcement would be on paper only, they added. The Government was yet to clear the dues of Rs. 4,500 crore of power subsidy to the farmers, they said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Kharge wanted to know why the promises of giving a kilo of rice at Rs. 2 and paying Rs. 1,500 to the unemployed youth were not kept up. “Perhaps the Government does not want the farmers to commit suicide and instead, it wants to kill them,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

On raising retirement age of Government employees to 60 years, Mr. Kumaraswamy asked whether Mr. Yeddyurappa was giving a good certificate to them. Mr. Mathikatti said this would deprive the youth of jobs. Had it not been done, the employees themselves would have left, fearing a raid by the Lokayukta, Mr. Kumaraswamy added.

The former Chief Minister said that the results achieved by banning arrack had been nullified by permitting 1,000 liquor shops and 500 bars/restaurants. Now the people would realise the difference between the two governments.

V.S. Ugrappa, MLC, criticised the budget as having no concern about drinking water supply. Mr. Mathikatti and Mr. Ugrappa termed it a BJP budget with a Hindutva tinge and Gram Swaraj of Gandhiji.

On declining allocation for irrigation, Mr. Ugrappa said that Mr. Yeddyurappa had allocated 26.48 per cent for irrigation and he had reduced it to 17.69 per cent in the last budget and further slashed it to 13.37 per cent, which was the lowest in the history of State irrigation.