Govt. defends CM’s assurance on increasing grants to minorities amidst din and walkout by BJP

December 06, 2023 09:27 pm | Updated 09:27 pm IST - BELAGAVI

Opposition members staging a walkout out during the Legislative Assembly session at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on Wednesday.

Opposition members staging a walkout out during the Legislative Assembly session at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The government defended Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s assurance to gradually increase allocation to Minorities Department amid a walkout by the Opposition BJP in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Soon after the conclusion of Question Hour, former Minister V. Sunil Kumar raised the issue of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s assurance to the department in Hubballi on Monday and questioned his promise on financial allocation to Muslims at a function when the legislature session was under way.

As several BJP members, including Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly R. Ashok, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Araga Jnanendra, S. Suresh Kumar, Ashwath Narayan, and others joined Mr. Sunil Kumar, a wordy duel ensued with the Congress members.

Responding to the issue raised by the BJP members, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs H.K. Patil said he was also present at the function in Hubballi. Mr. Patil said the Chief Minister had pointed out that the annual allocation to the Minorities Department, which was ₹4,000 crore at present, would be raised every year and the aim of the government was to increase the same to ₹10,000 crore per annum in future.

“Where is the breach of privilege of the House?” he questioned before finding fault with the BJP members for claiming that Mr. Siddaramaiah had already sanctioned ₹10,000 crore per annum to minorities.

However, Mr. Ashok said that he had also served as a Minister and had never made any announcements when the legislature was in session. Claiming that he had watched the video recording of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s statement on television news, he demanded the Chief Minister withdraw the assurance.

While Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao said there was nothing objectionable in the assurance, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Priyank Kharge pointed out that the sanction of funds to the department cannot happen without the matter figuring in the Budget that has to be presented in the Assembly. 

The BJP members, meanwhile, staged a walkout. While former Minister Basavaraj Rayaraddi and Congress member Appaji Gowda raised a point of order and contended that BJP members had raised the issue before the start of Zero Hour after conclusion of Question Hour without seeking permission from the chair, Mr. Patil accused the BJP of misusing the august floor of the House to “spread fake news”.

Taking serious exception to Mr. Ashok’s statement in the House, Mr. Patil urged the Speaker to expunge the “lies” sought to be spread by the BJP members in the Assembly.

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