Alleging that Congress has defaulted on its poll guarantees, senior BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the ruling party should not push Karnataka into financial hardship to implement its guarantee scheme. Pointing to the conditions attached to avail the guarantee schemes, the former Chief Minister said there is a big difference between the pre-election and the post-election statements of the party.
He was speaking to reporters on the Cabinet’s decision regarding implementing the guarantees such as 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), and 10 kg rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya).
Referring to the Congress’ promise of providing 200 units free electricity for everyone, Bommai said there is a difference in what the CM announced today. “Calculating average consumption is a hidden agenda,” he alleged.
Under this scheme, the government will take into account the one-year average of power consumption and will give free electricity up to 10 per cent more than the average usage. Stating that under the Anna Bhagya scheme, the state government announced that it would only provide additional 5 kgs while the Centre was already giving 5 kg of rice under the Food Security Act, the BJP leader said, “The CM now says that 10 kg food grain will be given to all BPL households, whereas they had promised rice ahead of the polls.” Attacking the Congress over the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, he said, “Especially in poor households there are elderly women. By asking them to apply online, there is a trick to deny them the benefits of the scheme. All panchayats have PDOs. Information can be collected and given through them.”
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He also expressed displeasure by pointing out that there is one month for filing application and a month for processing them. Bommai also targeted the Congress government for not fulfilling the promises in accordance with the guarantee ahead of polls, by not extending the free travel scheme for women in public transport to AC and luxury buses, and limiting the ‘Yuva Nidhi’ scheme to those who graduated in 2022-23.
Noting that Siddaramaiah has not revealed as to how much it will cost to implement these guarantees, the former CM demanded that the government provide clarity on the projects that would be stopped and reveal the source of money. “If the government spends money and does not generate much revenue, the state will be in financial trouble. Our state is the highest tax collecting state. If the current economic situation is not managed properly, there will be financial burden.”
Seeking clarity on the loans the government would take, Bommai urged them not to push the state into financial hardship with their projects. BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi has sought that CM Siddaramaiah come out with a white paper on the state’s economy, as he targeted the government on implementation of guarantees.