Coalition govt approved works beyond budget: Karjol

Coalition govt approved works beyond budget: Karjol

Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition had approved development works way beyond budgetary allocation, forcing the BJP government to put them on hold. 

Karjol, the public works minister, laid out figures to support his claim even as Congress and JD(S) members went up in arms accusing the ruling BJP of withdrawing funds allocated to their constituencies. He said works worth at least Rs 6,000 crore had been approved without the Finance department’s clearance. 

“When B S Yediyurappa took charge as chief minister, there were Rs 59,112 crore worth of works that were approved. Of them, works worth Rs 36,000 crore are ongoing. But the budget of the public works department is just Rs 9,450 crore,” Karjol said.

According to Karjol, road works worth Rs 8,489 crore had been approved against the availability of Rs 1,479 crore. The budget for buildings is Rs 425 crore, but projects worth Rs 1,700 crore were approved. Under the Karnataka Road Development Corporation, which has a budget of Rs 412 crore, projects of Rs 3,490 crore were cleared. Similarly, under K-SHIP, Karjol said Rs 6,885 crore worth of projects were approved against a budget of Rs 1,100 crore.

Addressing Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, Karjol said: “You have presented over a dozen budgets. Tell me, is it financial discipline to grant works way beyond what is budgeted for? What else can we do if not put such works on hold?” 

In a passing remark, Siddaramaiah blamed H D Revanna of the JD(S), the public works minister in the previous coalition government. 

Revanna challenged Karjol’s claims and said no works had been approved without the necessary nods. “Either I should resign (if it’s true) or Karjol should resign,” Revanna said. 

“I demand that all those works duly approved and tendered must not be stopped. Imagine the embarrassment MLAs have to face because of this. What will they tell their constituents?” Siddaramaiah said. 

During the debate, Congress-JD(S) MLAs accused the BJP of vendetta, for withdrawing their constituency grants. Mines Minister C C Patil said even BJP legislators suffered this when they were in the Opposition. "You should realise the pain we went through for six years. For you, it's just been six months."

Intervening, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said BJP MLAs got a raw deal when the Congress-JD(S) was in power. "Under PWD, RDPR and urban development, the 104 BJP constituencies were given Rs 2,986 crore, the 37 JD(S) constituencies got Rs 2,974 crore and the 79 of Congress got Rs 3,834 crore. But, we suffered this injustice quietly."

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