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Focus on Poll Guarantees Does Not Allow For Development Push : DK Shivakumar

Karnataka Deputy CM said the state would not be able to push for development as the focus on poll guarantees left it severely constrained.

DK Shivakumar Speaking At An Event
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Ahead of the Congress Pary Legislature Meeting in Bengaluru, Deputy CM DK Shivakumar announced that the state government would not be able to allocate resources to development. This was a result of both financial mismanagement by the previous government, he alleged as well as the party's commitments to it's five poll guarantees for which it has set aside ₹40,000 crores. He expressed that the situation would be explained to disgruntled legislators and their patience and cooperation would be asked for in handling it.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said, "We will not be able to provide for development this year. We will not be able to provide -- in the irrigation department or PWD department, but there is a huge expectation (from MLAs). We have asked them to wait. We will explain the situation to them in the legislature party meeting." 

Mr. Shivakumar announced that the state would not be able to provide for development plans and programmes, as it was facing severe financial constraints due to the implementation of the five poll guarantees. He highlighted that party legislators and MLAs would be explained the situation in detail and asked to remain patient, considering the gravity of the situation. He added the the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had also underlined this during the preparation of the State Budget, and asked ministers to remain patient.

This followed reports saying that party MLAs were unhappy. Congress MLAs (Mr. Shivakumar also serves as the State Congress President) are said to have taken it up with the party leadership  that work was stalled in their constituencies, and that transfers of bureaucrats as requested have also been stalled. They expressed unhappiness regarding current ministers, as well, and threatened that they would not be cooperating with the ruling governemnt.

The party leadership, CM Siddaramaiah as well as Mr. Shivakumar strongly denied that there was any dissent in party ranks. Mr. Shivakumar spoke on the huge expectations of the legislators but said that every effort would be made to explain the situation to them and obtain their cooperation and patience. He said,  "It is true that MLAs asked for a meeting (of the legislature party) to discuss certain issues, we too want to discuss with them on certain financial issues, because we will have to keep aside ₹ 40,000 crore (for implementing guarantees)," 

Ahead of the Congress legislature party meeting on Thursday, Mr. Shivakumar also added, "The previous government had created bankruptcy, they had called for more tenders and emptied the exchequer. As we (Congress) have ensured that we fulfill our promises by implementing the guarantees in the first year itself. All of them (MLAs) should remain patient". He did highlight that every effort would be taken to ensure that emergency works were not short-changed and would continue on-track.

 

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