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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said his government was following the principle of “sabka saath, sabka vikas” in a true sense and taunted BJP for depending “only on the so called Modi wave”.
Asserting that Congress will retain power in the state in the 2018 Assembly elections, he told the state assembly that inclusive growth was the core idea of his government.
Replying to a discussion on the 2017-18 budget, he slammed the BJP saying it had nothing to speak about development and was only dependent on so-called “Modi wave”, triggering a war of words with the opposition party objecting to his comments.
Hitting back at Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar (BJP) said the Modi wave was being discussed because of the NDA government’s good works and Congress was in illusion about its victory in the elections.
Listing schemes which he claimed indicated the inclusive nature of his government, Siddaramaiah said “we are always for inclusive growth and social justice. I can even say that sabka saath, sabka vikas in true sense, we are following it. BJP is in self-deception by making allegations against us,” he added.
He said his government had fulfilled more than 90 per cent of the 165 promises made by Congress in its poll manifesto and would try to implement others before the end of its tenure.
“I’m happy about our government’s performance and we have walked the talk,” he added.
He also chidded BJP for criticising the budget presented by him on March 15 as “Ahinda budget” (Ahinda-a Kannada acronym for the coalition of backward classes, Dalits and minorities).
“I have no problem over being called pro-Ahinda, but we are not just restricted to Ahinda. We are committed to social justice and believe in inclusive growth,” he said.
Claiming that the budget had been welcomed by people of all sections, including the media, he said it was ‘development-oriented,’ ‘inclusive’ and ‘growth-oriented.’
Stating that BJP has now stopped talking about “Gujarat model of development” and advertising about “UP model of development”, he said, “we have our own model which is ‘Karnataka development model’ and we are marching towards it.”
He said in the upcoming by-polls for Gundlupete and Nanjanagudu, and the assembly polls next year, the Karnataka development model would be the topic of discussion.
Reiterating that he was ready to waive farm loans, if the central government does its bit for loans taken from nationalised banks, he said, “our part is only 22 per cent which is loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks, rest 78 per cent is with the nationalised banks.”
Siddaramaiah clarified neither his party nor the government was against demonetisation or eradication of black money and corruption, but only objected to the way it was handled, causing inconvenience to public. It had in a way affected the state’s economy also, he added.
Rejecting BJP’s criticism that government had not followed financial discipline by borrowing more, he said it was within the parameters mentioned in Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act. Fiscal deficit had come down, while tax growth increased.
He said the state’s debt was way below the national average of 22 per cent.
Stating that the state was prepared for the implementation of GST, Siddaramaiah noted “as we are a consuming state it will help the state.”