Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Karnataka, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Siddaramaiah has questioned him on a slew of issues in a series of tweets with ”#AnswerMadiModi”, including on the ”delay” in granting approval to Mekedatu project and alleged Hindi ”imposition”.
The PM’s visit comes at a time when the political atmosphere is beginning to heat up in the state ahead of the assembly election next year, in which the ruling BJP, as well as the opposition Congress, have set a target of winning over 150 seats in the 255-member assembly.
”People of Karnataka are looking forward to the implementation of (the) Mekedatu project. Why is the central government reluctant to approve the project?” he asked.
He also sought to know whether Tamil Nadu’s ”pressure or prejudice” towards Karnataka were reasons for it.
Narendra Modi ”apologized” to the farmers and repealed anti-farmer laws, the former CM said, adding, ”but your state governments are yet to repeal. Was it just an eye wash or will Modi ask his state counterparts to repeal as well?” Alleging that the Bengaluru suburban rail project was ”delayed due to policy paralysis at the union government”, the Congress leader asked will the Prime Minister explain the reason for the ”delay”? ”Union government shall have to provide 20 percent of the cost to implement Bengaluru suburban rail project. Has the Modi government released 20 percent of the project cost or is this just for optics ahead of assembly election?” he further questioned.
Accusing Union Home Minister Amit Shah of trying to ”forcefully impose” Hindi on States, by asking them to use it as the language of communication between them, he wanted to know Modi’s stand on Kannada identity. ”Does your silence mean approval of Shah’s statement?” the Congress leader asked. Pointing to the state contractors association’s letter to the PM accusing his party-led government in the state of ”corruption with 40 percent commission charge”, he asked: ”if your claims of-‘Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga’ were true- when will you get this charge inquired?” He also raised issues such as GST compensation, ”reduction” of the Centre’s share of funds to the state, and ”denial” of a special grant to Karnataka under the 15th Finance commission.
Further, Siddaramaiah, wishing the best for the inauguration of the new campus of B R Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE), tried to highlight that it was envisioned during the Congress regime led by him.
”Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated our flagship project Babasaheb Dr. B R Ambedkar School of Economics in 2017. It gives us immense pleasure to recollect the satisfying memory of dedicating a world-class University to the people of Karnataka,” he said.
Noting that the project was envisioned to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. B R Ambedkar, he said, ”BASE was established in 2017 on a 43.45 acre on Bengaluru University land. Our government had allocated Rs 350 Cr for land & for the infrastructure.”