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Karnataka CM challenges Amit Shah to public debate on guarantee schemes

CM Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Sunday, issued a challenge to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, inviting him to participate in a public debate.

The challenge comes in response to Shah's alleged claims that the state's treasury is depleted due to guarantee schemes.

Siddaramaiah asserted his ability to prove that the treasury is not empty, attributing financial challenges to an unfair distribution of taxes from the Centre to the state.

"If this is Amit Shah's firm opinion, he should participate in a public debate with me. I can prove that our treasury is not empty because of the guarantee schemes, and instead, there is an unfair distribution of taxes from the Centre to the state. This is also a challenge to Amit Shah, he said.

During Shah's visit to Mysuru, Siddaramaiah questioned BJP leaders' intentions, accusing them of attempting to destabilise the guarantee schemes. He challenged them to announce the discontinuation of similar schemes in BJP-governed states if they object to Karnataka's initiatives.

"If there are any objections to the guarantee schemes, BJP leaders should clearly state their opposition immediately, and announce that all guarantee schemes will be discontinued in the states governed by the BJP. Why are BJP leaders trying to destabilise guarantee schemes in Karnataka? Do they harbour hatred for the people of Karnataka," he further asked.

The chief minister further accused PM Narendra Modi of adopting Karnataka's guarantee schemes while opposing them, highlighting the BJP's contradictory stance.

Siddaramaiah asserted that the BJP's opposition is not to the guarantee schemes themselves but to the beneficiaries – the poor.

"This shows the anti-poor stance and intellectual bankruptcy of that party (BJP)," said a statement released by his office.

He recalled historical instances of the RSS-BJP opposing poverty eradication programs and emphasised the need for the poor to respond. The chief minister criticised the Central government for initially refusing to supply rice for Karnataka's 'Anna Bhagya' scheme but later selling the same under the 'Bharat' brand.

"Even when the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called for 'Garibi Hatao' (Eradicate Poverty), the same RSS-BJP opposed it. They have always opposed social justice programmes including land reforms and reservations. The poor should give a fitting reply to this," said the CM.

"The Central government, which had refused to provide rice at Rs 33 per kilo when we (Karnataka govt) asked (for free supply to poor), is now selling it at Rs 29 per kilo. In summary, the BJP is intolerant towards the poor, farmers, women, and workers of Karnataka," he added.

In addition, Siddaramaiah addressed various issues, including opposition to the Kannada flag, Hindi imposition, and alleged favouritism towards Amul over Nandini. He questioned Shah's leadership, citing the lack of disaster relief discussions for the state.

"If the Central government has to provide disaster relief, a high-level committee meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah has to decide. Amit Shah, who is antagonistic towards Kannadigas, does not even call for such a meeting. Such people come to our state and lecture us," argued the Congress leader.

Siddaramaiah concluded by emphasising the importance of reducing the hardships of the poor as a true act of devotion to God. "Reducing the hardship of the poor and wiping their tears is the true devotion to God, as I understand. No matter how many times you chant the name of Ram while causing harm to the poor, it is futile. What is the benefit of building temples for God without providing homes to the poor? Those who oppose the guarantee schemes cannot have the mercy of Lord Ram. They cannot have the blessings of Mother Chamundeshwari."

The challenge and statements from Siddaramaiah come amid political discussions and debates surrounding guarantee schemes and financial policies in Karnataka.

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TAGS:Amit ShahSiddaramaiahKarnataka CM Siddaramaiah
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