Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) Budget has some special allocation this time as the ruling Congress and JD(S) announced bronze statue, financial assistance for individuals and a flyover project.

According to Hemalatha, standing committee chairman for finance in BBMP, Rs 5 crore has been allocated for bronze statues of the late Siddaganga seer Dr Shivakumara Swamiji.

 "The foundation has already been laid in Mahalakshmipuram Circle and soon we will erect the statue. We will also give Rs 25 lakh to institutions and individuals who make a significant contribution in the field of education," said Hemalatha.

She further added that since the state Cabinet has already approved to build a flyover at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore from Chord Road to Kurubarahalli, the BBMP will name this flyover as Sri Sri Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji who is like a god for the Vokkaliga community. A bronze statue for Balagangadharanatha Swamiji will also come up.

When asked about the move by the ruling council to impress Lingayats and Vokkaligas to tap their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as there are significant voters in Bengaluru South, Central and North, Hemalatha said this is apolitical.

"Both seers have contributed towards the society, Shivakumara Swamiji who died recently, has students from all the community in his educational institutions. The opposition is scared of our victory and hence they make such claims. We took these projects, not with the intention to tap votes but to honour these seers," she said, justifying the decision.

However, the Opposition did not buy this defence from the BBMP ruling members and said the BBMP is known for swindling funds and by doing this they will bring disrepute to such great seers.

"The BJP does not have any problem with projects in the name of Siddaganga seer and Adichunchanagiri mutt seer but our only concern is the utilisation of funds," said S Prakash, BJP Spokesperson.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP leader and Govindaraj Nagar corporator Umesh Shetty said the projects announced by the Congress and JD(S) had political intentions.

"They know MP elections are crucial and to impress both the Lingayats and Vokkaligas they have announced such projects in the BBMP budget. We do not have any issues with bringing such projects in great personalities names. We doubt their intentions, the utilisation of funds and the timing of such projects," Shetty argued.