"All that BJP-led Centre has given to Karnataka is empty vessel": Congress leader Randeep Surjewala

KARNATAKA: AICC general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala on Wednesday hit out at the BJP model of development in the state and compared them with an empty vessel Chombu (narrow-necked vessel for holding water).

Addressing a press conference in Hubballi ahead of second phase of Lok Sabha polls to be held on April 26, holding an empty vessel in his hand, he said, "All that the BJP-led Centre has given to Karnataka is the empty vessel. And, this time, the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka have decided to give the empty vessel back to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections."

Surjewala said that the BJP and the Prime Minister have done nothing in the last 10 years of their rule for Karnataka adding that as the people of Karnataka chose the Congress, Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hate Kannadigas and are seeking revenge.

Terming the BJP as 'Bharatiya Chombu Party', Surjewala said that the Centre has given an empty vessel to the people of Karnataka who had promptly paid their taxes.

He said that against the "guarantee" model of Congress in Karnataka, there also exists the "Chombu model of the Bharatiya Chombu Party."

"Today there are two models in Karnataka. One is the guarantee model of Congress. We had given five guarantees in the assembly elections. We had said we would implement them. Those running 40 per cent government used to say that these guarantees cannot be implemented," Surjewala said.

"We gave five guarantees Grihalakshmi, Grihajyoti, Shakti, Anna Bhagya and Yuva Nidhi. Rs 58 thousand crores were deposited by the Government of Karnataka into the bank accounts of 4.5 crore Kannadigas. On the other hand, there is Chomu model of Bharatiya Chombu Party," he added.

Surjewala also took on the BJP for not releasing funds to Karnataka for drought-relief.

"We have declared drought more than six months ago. Congress Ministers from the state met the Union Home Secreatary and asked them to implement the memorandum. Following that the Chief Minister met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, the report was sent to the high power committee. Amit Shah had to decide. From September 2023, nothing was done. This is because Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are taking revenge against the people of Karnataka. It seems that the central government hates Karnataka," Surjewala said.

"The 15th Finanace Commission says that money should be given back to states when a state delcares drought. But Amit Shah hands over an emply 'Chombu'". he added.

Highlighting the neglect towards Karnataka, Surjewala listed out, "When Karnataka demands Rs 58000 crore of its righful due under 15th Finanace Commission, Modi asks us to take the empty 'chombu'. When Karnataka asks to pay Rs 6,000 crore for the Bhadra project that was announced in the budget, PM passes on the empty 'Chombu.'"

"When we ask for tax money back, Modi ji says take the empty 'Chombu,' for Bhadra Dam he says take the empty 'Chombu.' For every Rs 100 revenue, contributed to the Centre, Karnataka is getting just Rs 13 back as its share," he said.

He also said that permissions were not being given for Mekedatu and Mahadayi Kalasa-Banduri projects and alleged that PM Modi stole the word 'guarantee' from them.

Announcing new guarantees for Karnataka, Surjewala said, "Now Grihalakshmi will become Maha Lakshmi. Now the Congress government in Delhi promises to deposit Rs 1 lakh every year, so that it can fight the Modi-made inflation and price rise. Rs 1 lakh every year will be given to the youth. Universal health coverage worth Rs 25 lakh to everyone in India. Loan waiver to small and marginal farmers has also been announced."

Lok Sabha elections for 28 seats in Karnataka will take place over two phases, with polling slated for April 26 and May 7. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

In 2019, BJP won 25 out of the 28 seats on its own.


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