Accusing Central government of discrimination, Representatives from three states - Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu - have converged in Delhi to voice their grievances, alleging disparity in the allocation of funds to these states.
The agitation began with the Karnataka government leading the charge, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, among other top leaders, gathered at Jantar Mantar in the national capital.
They accused the BJP-led central government of withholding funds and intentionally reducing the state's share of tax revenue.
As reported by NDTV, Speaking on the protest, D K Shivakumar emphasized Karnataka's significant contribution to Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection, asserting the state's right to its fair share.
"We are asking for our rights, we are asking for our share. The Karnataka government had sought drought relief funds from the Centre but not even a single rupee was given," he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP staged a counter-protest in Bengaluru, highlighting what they perceive as failures of the Congress government in Karnataka.
BJP legislators, led by state president BY Vijayendra, staged a sit-in demonstration condemning the alleged negligence towards drought-hit farmers and milk producers.
Following Karnataka, MPs from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are also set to stage protests in Delhi.
From Tamil Nadu, MPs from the ruling DMK and its alliance partners will gather near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex.
Similarly, Kerala Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan and members of his Left Front government will hold a protest at Jantar Mantar.
As reported earlier, LDF Convenor EP Jayarajan had emphasised that the protest transcends political affiliations, serving as a platform to highlight the collective grievances of the people of Kerala.
He had also stressed the need for Congress-led UDF leaders to join forces in addressing the challenges faced by the state.
The issue of funds allocation to states has escalated since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget on 1 February.
Tensions flared during the ongoing Parliament session, with heated exchanges between the Centre and the Opposition.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan clarified that financial allocations to states adhere to uniform guidelines, ensuring impartiality in fund distribution.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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