Staff Correspondent

‘Funds released by the Centre have not been spent’

‘UPA Government has released Rs. 56,480 crore’

No step-motherly treatment to the State,

says AICC spokesperson

HUBLI: All India Congress Committee spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan has said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had released more funds to Karnataka than the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, she said the Congress had increased the Central funds to Karnataka to Rs. 56,480 crore, which was 69 per cent more than what the NDA Government had given to the State. However, the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party combine and the BJP Government had failed to utilise the Central funds, she added.

She said during the five years of NDA rule, Rs. 33,331 crore was released to the State. But during the UPA rule, Rs. 56,480 crore, an increase of Rs. 23,419 crore, was released to Karnataka.

In the past five years in Karnataka, Central funds to the tune of Rs. 469 crore had been released under the National Rural Health Mission which remained unspent in the health sector, while Rs. 924 crore released under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rs. 596 crore under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) also remained unspent, she said. “In fact, the UPA Government released more funds to non-Congress ruled States during its rule and there was an average increase of 63 per cent compared to the funds released under NDA rule,” she said.

Ms. Jayanti Natarajan said that there was no “step-motherly” treatment to Karnataka.

However, when asked about the delay in filing reply in the Supreme Court on the Kalasa Banduri Nala Project, providing facilities that came along with the classical language status and the issue of special status to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, Ms. Natarajan said that she was not familiar with these issues and steps would be taken to solve them.

Referring to cases of moral policing in Karnataka, she said that it was not only the sister organisations of the Sangh Parivar that were involved in such acts, but also others.

“Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was not only a silent spectator, but also a conspirator,” she alleged.

On the drop in the polling percentage, she said that the BJP’s habit of attacking organisations and agencies, including the Election Commission, had shaken the trust of the people in the polling process, which had indirectly resulted in the poor voter turnout.