Murmurs of discontent is growing among Congress leaders over the new Budget proposed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's coalition government and a few senior leaders have now voiced their concerns over the Budget.
In a letter addressed to Kumaraswamy, veteran leader and former minister HK Patil aired his reservations over the Budget. "In the 2018 assembly elections, minorities were the reason for our victory. We should have announced at least some initiatives for them in the Budget. There were no new initiatives announced for them," reads the letter.
HK Patil, who was denied a cabinet berth during the formation of the coalition ministry, was bitter about the neglect of north Karnataka region in the Budget. "In the 1999-2004 Congress government, 2004-06 Congress-JD(S) coalition government and 2013-18 Congress government there were several initiatives announced for the districts of north Karnataka. It is better if the current coalition government too were to announce a few initiatives for these districts,‚ÄĚ the letter states.
Patil, a talismanic leader from north Karnataka was passed up for the post of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President. He, along with other former ministers like Tanveer Sait have aired their discontent over the Budget. Patil was the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj while Sait was the Education Minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government.
The BJP had flagged the coalition government for what it described as a ‚ÄėHassan-Holenarasipura‚Äô Budget, taking a dig at the fact that a slew of developmental projects were announced in those districts of Old Mysuru. The construction of multi-specialty hospitals, the introduction of the Israel-model of agriculture, and a ‚ÄėDisneyland‚Äô in Karnataka to develop tourism were all given to districts in the Old Mysuru region and parts of central and north Karnataka.
The coastal districts, where BJP won the most seats, did not factor into the Budget while leaders from north Karnataka said that the region needed more help from the government.
In the Budget, HD Kumaraswamy announced a Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver while also revealing that the government has hiked fuel prices, power tariffs and excise duty on Indian-made alcohol.