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BJP didn't do anything to get drought relief to Karnataka from Centre: D K Shivakumar

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Bengaluru, Feb 4 (PTI) Accusing the BJP in Karnataka of not doing anything to get drought relief for the state from the Centre, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Sunday took a dig at the saffron party for targeting the Congress government, despite its best efforts to provide relief to the affected, along with implementing the guarantee schemes.

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He also invited the BJP and JD(S) leaders to join the state Congress' protest in Delhi in the coming days, against "injustice" to Karnataka by the Union government, with respect to tax devolution and grants-in-aid, in the interests of Karnataka.

"It has been 10 years since the Manmohan Singh government went, they (BJP) should have sense. It is okay to have people without knowledge or education, but people have to be sensible. People have given you the power in the country, you also had a double engine government (BJP governments both at the Centre and in the state), but what did you do is the question," Shivakumar told reporters.

He was responding to a question on the opposition BJP demanding release of records on how much Karnataka got from the Union government towards drought and development works between 2004 and 2014 when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister and the Congress-led UPA was in power.

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Pointing out that despite having 27 MPs (including one independent and one from JD(S)) of the total of 28 from Karnataka, the Deputy CM said the BJP could not get drought relief released to the state by holding a meeting with the Central government run by their party.

"Apart from doing whatever is necessary for drinking water supply, for the first time the Siddaramaiah government has ensured that the affected farmers got Rs 2,000 to their bank accounts as relief. The BJP is unable to digest it," he said.

Claiming that the Centre had done injustice to Karnataka, Shivakumar further said instead of setting that right, by demanding records on funds released to the state during the UPA rule, the BJP seems to be accepting that injustice is happening during NDA rule.

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"We, the Congress lost the election, but you (the BJP) won with over 300 seats...let's leave everything, in the last Union budget, Nirmala Sitharaman had said Rs 5,300 crore will be given to the state's Upper Bhadra irrigation project" and sought to know if even a single rupee had been released for the same. "Let them (BJP) say," the KPCC chief, who is the state's irrigation Minister added.

All Congress lawmakers (also MPs) from the state, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, will protest in New Delhi on February 7, against the "injustice" to Karnataka by the Union government when it comes to tax devolution and grants-in-aid.

"There is no other way, we have to raise our voice in the interest of the state. I will request both the BJP and JD(S) to come and participate in it, in the interest of the state," Shivakumar said.

Responding to BJP state president B Y Vijayendra's recent comments that people will not fall for the "gimmicky guarantees" of the Congress party as they know that the Modi guarantee is the best, Shivakumar said he (Vijayendra) is new to the post and is speaking new things and added that he didn't want to discourage him.

"He (Vijayendra) has won a lottery and has become the state president in seven months (after the BJP's defeat in the Assembly polls), it is like a share from his father's (B S Yediyurappa) earnings...remember what Modi said about Congress guarantees earlier? But, now taking a cue from Congress' guarantees, terms like Modi guarantees are being used by the BJP for campaign," he added. PTI KSU KSU SS

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