Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah leads 'Chalo Delhi' protest for tax justice
In a bold move to demand tax justice and fair treatment for Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is leading a massive protest in Delhi against the central government's alleged discriminatory policies. Under the banner of "Chalo Delhi for Tax Justice," the Congress-led state government is set to rally against what they perceive as a stepmotherly attitude towards Karnataka's tax share, allocation of grants, and drought relief.
Karnataka's protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Wednesday is a historic moment as it marks the state's first-ever organized rally against the central government under its leadership. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, along with his entire cabinet, Congress MLAs, and leaders of various organisations, will converge to raise their voices against the economic injustice being inflicted on the state by the central government.
The grievances outlined by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his government are multifaceted and touch upon various aspects of financial disparity faced by Karnataka. One of the central issues is the alleged reduction in Karnataka's tax share allocation, resulting in a loss of an estimated Rs.62 thousand crores over the past five years.
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Despite repeated requests for compensation for crop losses due to the severe drought, the central government has purportedly failed to release any funds, exacerbating the state's financial woes. Furthermore, the state government highlights the denial of special grants recommended by the 15th Finance Commission, as well as cuts in funds for state and central partnership projects. The Upper Bhadra Scheme, which had Rs.5,300 crores announced in the budget, has not received any funds, further burdening Karnataka financially.
The cumulative effect of these alleged injustices, as per the state government's claims, amounts to a staggering loss of Rs.1.87 lakh crores to Karnataka since 2017-18 due to the central government's financial policies. In response, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his government are rallying under the slogan "Our tax is our right; let's go to Delhi; let's ask," emphasising the state's rightful claim to its fair share of taxes and resources.
The protest has garnered support from various quarters, with Congress MP D.K. Suresh and AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge among the prominent leaders joining the cause. Additionally, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has extended invitations to BJP and JD-S MPs and MLAs, urging them to set aside party differences and unite in demanding economic justice for Karnataka.