While Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka Congress protested at Delhi's Jantar Mantar today (7 February) highlighting "step-motherly treatment" towards the state in terms of funds, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to it.
She highlighted that the Karnataka government gave full-page national newspaper advertisements "using taxpayers' money" with six claims, out of which "two are outrageously false claims."
To the claim that zero has been given by the Central government for drought and disaster relief, she clarified, "Combining both disaster management and capital investment, a total of Rs 12,476 Crores has been given."
The Finance Minister described the breakup as Rs 6,196 crore for disaster management and Rs 6,280 crore for capital investment. The second false claim she pointed out was of a special grant.
"I mentioned in the beginning itself that a special grant was not even there in the final recommendation. So, there is no recommendation of the Finance Commission but you are mentioning that here," Sitharaman said.
"I would like to humbly say that all of these things are arising out of just one mindset - the mindset of separatism - what the Deputy CM's brother said. Congress is with separatists today.," the Finance Minister added.
Karnataka's Deputy CM is DK Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh has expressed the fear that if the issue of fund distribution is not addressed promptly, it could escalate to the point where the demand for a separate nation becomes inevitable.
Calling out Congress' collusion with "tukde tukde gang", Sitharaman said that Congress in Tamil Nadu is also in a similar situation and with "this advertisement the Congress is spreading the same (separatist) propaganda."
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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