Karnataka budget neglects coastal, northern regions, says BJP

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Bengaluru, July 6 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislators on Friday gathered outside Karnataka Assembly to protest against the state budget for neglecting the interests of coastal and northern regions.

“The budget presented by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy neglected the coastal and northern regions and favoured only the districts in the old Mysuru region,” BJP’s state spokesman Vamanacharya told IANS here.

BJP’s legislators from Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts staged a protest near the Gandhi statue outside the state legislature building.

“BJP will take up these issues in the Assembly,” Vamanacharya added.

Kumaraswamy, in his budget presentation on Thursday, announced Rs 40-crore for a 300-bed super speciality hospital in Ramanagara, the Assembly constituency from where he won the May 12 state election.

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The ruling coalition partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) has a strong hold in the old Mysuru region, from where most of its legislators got elected.

In the budget, he also announced a sum of Rs 200-crore for new hospitals to be built in Gadag, Koppal, Chamarajanagar, Hassan and Mysuru — which lie in the old Mysuru region.

Senior Congress leader H.K. Patil wrote to Kumaraswamy expressing displeasure over no new initiatives being announced for the northern Karnataka districts.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, however, said the budget proposals were in accordance with the common minimum programme that two coalition partners – JD-S and Congress – agreed upon.

“The budget has been presented as per what was agreed in the common minimum programme,” he told reporters here.

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Protests were also witnessed in Mangaluru by the student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for allegedly neglecting the education sector in the budget.

Kumaraswamy announced a Rs 150 crore package for infrastructure repairs of state-run primary schools, high schools and pre-university college buildings.

Another Rs 250 crore was set aside for development and infrastructure repairs of state-run graduate and post-graduate colleges.

Apart from this, the budget provided Rs 5 crore to install biometric instruments in all 48,000 government schools of the state to monitor the attendance of teachers and students.

The Chief Minister also proposed to hold classes in English medium along with Kannada in 1,000 state-run primary schools on an experiment basis, to attract children to state-run schools.

–IANS

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