Shah lying about central funds, insulting state BJP leaders: CM

He reasons why fund release by UPA, NDA is apple-orange comparison

Hitting back at BJP national president Amit Shah for repeatedly accusing the Congress of depriving Karnataka the Finance Commission funds, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that the former was deliberately displaying "ignorance".

Shah, while addressing the media in Mysuru on Saturday, had attacked the Congress for allocating "meagre" funds to Karnataka under the 13th Finance Commission (FC). He had said that under the UPA government, Karnataka had got Rs 88,583 crore, while the NDA government had allocated Rs 2,18,506 crore to the state under the 14th FC. "The funds were the right of the people of Karnataka, but why did the Congress deprive them of it," he had asked.

Countering Shah through a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah said that the devolution of central funds to states was the constitutional duty of the Centre, and that the funds were the right of all states. "Finance Commissions decide formula for fund sharing and the states get the funds. It is not a gift of the UPA or the NDA. These funds are not a special grant to Karnataka. All states receive it," he said.

Siddaramaiah said that the funds received went into the state budget, along with Karnataka's tax revenues and borrowings. "I have presented five budgets with a total outlay of about Rs 9 lakh crore. Where did the money go? It went into irrigation, schools, hospitals, roads and highways, railway lines, crop insurance, and farm loan waiver."

Charging that Shah was "repeating the lie", Siddaramaiah said that by doing so, he was not only insulting the people of Karnataka, but also his party's opposition leaders with his "silly questions".

"Was the Karnataka BJP sleeping for five years? Did they sleep through the 15 legislature sessions where all these accounts were presented, debated and approved? You are insulting your leaders of opposition in the two Houses Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa with these silly questions. What you are saying is they did not do their job by asking for these accounts," he added.

"You are comparing fund allocation of two different periods. Due to inflation and tax growth, revenues rise by 10-15% every year. Plus devolution percentage was changed from 32 to 42. But the Centre reduced its share of central schemes. So, it is an apple to orange comparison," he added.

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