'Stand by Stance on Separate Country for South India': Cong MP on 'Raw Deal' to Karnataka Over Tax Devoluti – News18

Reported By: Harish Upadhya
Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee
Last Updated: March 27, 2024, 21:45 IST
Bengaluru, India
Congress MP DK Suresh responded to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that the Centre does not owe any money to Karnataka. (Image: @ANI/X/File)
Congress MP DK Suresh has remained defiant and said he will not be changing his stance on a separate country for South India, since these states continue to get a raw deal when it comes to tax devolution.
“I have not changed my statement. It’s perfect. If they (Centre) continue, people will think this is inevitable. They are taking money from South India to North India. South India will protest in a different manner; Tamil Nadu already raised this issue a few years ago. They are only concentrating on North India. Money is going to Gujarat,” said Suresh, who is busy campaigning in Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency of which he is the MP.
Suresh responded to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that the Centre does not owe any money to Karnataka, and that the finance commission did not recommend any special grant to the state. He alleged that the state was not being given its due despite contributing heavily to the central government’s exchequer.
“We are paying Rs 4.3 lakh crore this year, we are getting only Rs 50,000 crore. We have given Rs 24 lakh crore to the Government of India in the last 10 years; how much have they given to Karnataka in that period of time? Nirmala Sitharaman said we have given 2.92 lakh crore to Karnataka in the last 10 years and I agree with that. What about the rest of the money?” he asked.
The lone Congress MP from Karnataka, Suresh also raised concerns about big-ticket projects going to either Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat. “Our irrigation projects are stuck. No new road projects have been allocated. The prime minister is from Gujarat and he represents Uttar Pradesh. They have taken GIFT city to Gujarat, all companies and taxes will go from Gujarat. It will affect South India and Bengaluru. They are discriminating against Karnataka,” he said.
He further alleged that he was only trying to protect the interests of Karnataka and Bengaluru. “I am an Indian, I am a Kannadiga. I have to protect Kannadiga interest and Bangalore interest. We should protest against discrimination by North India,” he added.
The BJP, however, hit back saying the Congress wanted to divide the country only because it cannot win in North India. The party has called it a desperate attempt by Suresh to garner eyeballs, after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fielded well-known cardiologist Dr Manjunath from his constituency.
“From the beginning, he wanted to divide India into north and south because they lost everything in North India. So, in South India they have to bring a government so they can rule that portion; but it won’t happen at any cost… Now, we fielded a good candidate there (Bengaluru Rural). He is very upset because of this, hence, he’s talking about dividing the country. Our candidate there wants to unite people. This is the difference between the Congress and BJP candidates,” said BJP MLC Chaluvadi Narayanswamy.


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