I have laid my vision through this budget: HDK

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday gave himself and his team of officers a pat on the back for what he termed was “a record budget” while hitting out at the BJP “for being thankless.”

Addressing a press conference, Kumaraswamy strongly defended the first budget of the Congress-JD(S) coalition amid criticism from the BJP. “I have shown a revenue surplus of Rs 106 crore. It’s a record to have tabled a surplus budget despite having so many commitments and our officials have worked very hard. I’ve kept them sleepless for the past 15 days.”

Taking exception to BJP leader R Ashoka dubbing his budget as a “Hassan budget,” Kumaraswamy questioned the saffron party’s contribution when it was in power. “What did the BJP do for five years when it was in power? In the first year itself, I have earmarked Rs 10,000 crore for farmers. The BJP threatened to hit the streets if I failed to waive farm loans. I have done it. The BJP has no courtesy or gratitude.”

He refuted charges that the budget was geographically confined to a few districts. “We have proposed an elevated corridor for Bengaluru that will be completed in four years at a cost of Rs 15,825 crore. The Peripheral Ring Road (PRR), which was in cold storage for 10 years, will be taken up. Many investors have held talks with us on this,” he said. He went on to mention the focus his budget had for north Karnataka. “Kalaburagi, for example, will be developed as a hub for solar power.”

The budget, he pointed out, had earmarked only Rs 200-300 crore for districts represented by the JD(S). “For that, the BJP is creating a ruckus. In one month, I have laid my vision through this budget. I ask the BJP to be large-hearted and stop being cheap and small-minded,” Kumaraswamy said.

He defended the budgetary measure to fuel tax. “The Narendra Modi administration has hiked fuel prices nine times since coming to power in 2014. The price of petrol and diesel in Karnataka, even after the hike, will remain one of the lowest when compared with those of other states,” he said.

Kumaraswamy also brought up Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on Wednesday, in which he reiterated the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s commitment to the farm loan waiver. “The tweet shows the confidence and trust we have on each other as partners.”

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I have laid my vision through this budget: HDK

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