Central grants: Congress demands apology from BJP

Central grants: Congress demands apology from BJP

Central grants: Congress demands apology from BJP

On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bengaluru, the Congress and the BJP indulged in a war of words over Central grants to the state.

It all began with the ruling Congress on Saturday describing BJP president Amit Shah's claim of the Centre giving a grant to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore to the state, as an insult to the proud people of Karnataka, and demanding an apology from the saffron party.

"The lies and jumlas of the BJP are well known, but their claim of releasing funds to the state because of their generosity, is an insult to Karnataka as well as all the other states," KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters.

Rao said Centre was claiming as if it was giving alms to the state. The state is entitled to the grants from the Centre as per the Constitution of India.

The Centre has to release state's share of money (collected in the form of taxes) as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission .

"But, Amit Shah, during his recent visit to the state said the Centre is bestowing the money on Karnataka and demanded that the state government should give accounts of the money being spent," Rao stated.

Soon, the BJP came with a counter. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar said the Congress was misleading the people."Every citizen has the right to seek information on the grants utilised by the government," Shettar said.

If the government was not getting sufficient grants from the Centre, why it did not take up the issue with Niti Aayog, he sought to know.

Shettar wondered why the government had kept the Rs 4,500 crore provided by the Centre from the central road funds to the state under wraps. "The government is just telling a bunch of lies to cover up its lapses," Shettar charged.

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the Centre owes the state an explanation on why it has not released the full amount as stipulated by the 14th Finance Commission. The Centre still owes about Rs 10,553 crore.

The Centre has released Rs 84,651 crore during 2015-18 against Rs 95,204 crore recommended by the Finance Commission. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Bengaluru on Sunday, should give a hisab (accounts) in this regard, he added.