Siddaramaiah raking up North-South divide is a typical characteristic of Cong leaders: Amit Malviya

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Siddaramaiah Amit Malviya

Siddaramaiah (Left); Amit Malviya (Right)

Bengaluru: BJP's IT cell in charge Amit Malviya on Tuesday hit out at Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for raking up the North-South divide and said it was a typical characteristic of Congress leaders, who are trusted allies of the ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang.

His statements come ahead of the state Congress unit's protest in New Delhi under the leadership of Siddaramaiah against the Centre’s alleged injustice to Karnataka by the union government when it comes to tax devolution and grants-in-aid.

Taking to the micro-blogging site 'X', Malviya said Siddaramaiah should examine the funds Bengaluru gets versus the regions like ‘Kalyana Karnataka’ and Kalaburagi.

"Does he care about the unfair treatment of Bengaluru? This approach (raking up North-South divide) to politics is deplorable and is a typical characteristic of Congress leaders, who are trusted allies of the ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang," the BJP IT Cell Chief said.

'Tukde Tukde' gang is a phrase used by the BJP to refer to alleged sympathisers of separatists.

Such tactics not only undermine unity but also pose significant risk to social harmony, he cautioned.

According to Malviya, Siddaramaiah’s demand for Rs 5,495 crore special grant was a 'lie'. "The 15th FC did not recommend Special Grant to any State. There is no such recommendation to accept or reject. It is a figment of his imagination." The Centre has not only devolved taxes, but also given Rs 6,212 crore as 50-year interest-free loans to boost Karnataka’s capital expenditure as on December 11, 2023, he explained.

Malviya further called Siddaramaiah’s expectation of 15 per cent growth rate in tax revenue a 'joke and a lie', given that Covid hit state GDP for two years.

The Karnataka CM ignored the life-saving mobility restrictions and uses a flawed indicator of tax performance, he noted.

Tax buoyancy is a better indicator to measure, which shows how tax revenue responds to GDP growth, Malviya said adding that it has soared from 0.72 before GST to 1.22 after it, proving GST’s positive effect on tax efficiency and compliance.

"His (Siddaramaiah's) view is a deliberate distortion of the truth and an insult to the GST’s benefits," the BJP leader said.

Pointing out that the devolution of funds to states is based on rational criteria, laid out in Article 280, Malviya said it ensures fair distribution of resources.

"Centre’s tax devolution to Karnataka has increased by 245.7%, reaching ₹2.82 lakh crore (under Modi Govt), compared to ₹81,795 crore under the UPA. This contradicts the false claim of financial neglect or adverse impact due to the revised tax share percentages," he charged.

The Centre’s Grants in Aid to Karnataka have also surged by 243 per cent, with Rs 2.08 lakh crore already released, compared to Rs 60,779 crore under the UPA.

The projected grants-in-aid by the end of Modi Govt’s term totals up to Rs 2.26 lakh crore, he added.

Alleging injustice to Karnataka by the central government with reduction in tax devolution, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had on Sunday said this has resulted in a loss of over Rs 45,000 crore to the state in the last four years.

He also claimed that the taxes paid by Kannadigas were not useful for the state's difficult times, and the money was going to northern states. PTI GMS ROH