Shettar scores for BJP in final innings

Shettar scores for BJP in final innings

Shettar scores for BJP in final innings

For the ruling BJP, Friday was a big day as it could fulfill its dream of presenting the budget for the next financial year despite the party getting trifurcated.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar presented his main budget with out any hitch, thanks to Opposition parties and KJP leader B S Yeddyurappa. In the last budget of its five-year term, the BJP government seems to have made a last ditch effort to include some of the unkept promises made by the party in its election manifesto ahead of the 2008 Assembly polls.

It took three hours and 45 minutes for Shettar, who holds the Finance portfolio, to read out the budget proposals. It was one of the longest budget speeches made in the recent times. He devoted majority of the time in giving a recap on the ‘achievements’ of the government over the past five years.

“It is a growth-oriented budget and aims at inclusive growth. All sections of the society have been taken care of in the budget. Education, health, power and irrigation sectors will get thrust. The issue of regional imbalance has been addressed adequately. Formation of new taluks was a long standing demand of people from these regions,” Shettar said after presenting the budget. One of the foremost promises made its election manifesto “Sankalpa - for prosperous Karnataka” in 2008 was providing food grains to BPL families at Rs two per kg.

The BJP has finally kept this promise in the budget with just a couple of months to go for the polls. Another promise made in 2008 was that cyber cafes would be set up all gram panchayats and Shettar announced an allocation Rs 50 crore for implementing the first phase of the project. By and large, it could be said that it is an achievement for the present government to have managed to present all five budget during its tenure, albeit by three different chief minister. For, the government faced turmoil right from the first year in office.

Thrust on Hubli

When B S Yeddyurappa was the chief minister, it was Shimoga which got maximum attention in the budget proposals. This time it is Hubli (besides Bangalore, Mysore City and Belgaum), thanks to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who is a resident of Hubli.

Hubli and Hubli-Dharwad together have found a mention in Shettar’s budget over 25 times. Though there is a mention of ongoing programmes, schemes and projects, Hubli does find primacy in the 2013-14 budget where Shettar has spoken about bringing in some mega projects.