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'Thick-skinned Govt': When Yediyurappa's On-stage Plea to Modi Became Opposition's Weapon

PM Narendra Modi with Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa during the inauguration of 107th Indian Science Congress at the University of Agricultural Sciences, in Bengaluru. (Image: PTI)

PM Narendra Modi with Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa during the inauguration of 107th Indian Science Congress at the University of Agricultural Sciences, in Bengaluru. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 23-hour visit to Karnataka has left a big debate on how Karnataka continues to be neglected as far as Central funds are concerned.

Bengaluru: Day after Yediyurappa requested PM Modi to release funds for Karnataka, the chief minister's plea gave fresh ammunition to opposition with Siddaramaiah dubbing Centre 'thick-skinned' and Kumaraswamy slamming the prime minister over his 'love for Pakistan'.

"Yediyurappa spoke to him with folded hands, but we didnt see the PM responding. A government that is sensitive would respond, but not a thick-skinned one. That is why I say, Yediyurappa is a weak CM. He should have taken his 25 MPs and gone to the PM's house and sat there, demanded the 36,000 crores needed to rebuild, demanded that the floods should be declared a national calamity. But he did not dare," Siddaramaiah told mediapersons on Friday.

He pointed out that there are many flood victims who don't even have sheds to live in today. Five months after the floods that hit Karnataka, they are still living in make-shift tents in bus stands and railway stations. But the PM did not even tell the State that its pleas would be looked into.

"The PM had said that if there is a BJP government in Karnataka and in the Centre, the doors of the State's fortunes will open up. Forget fortunes, he does not even open his doors to anyone, he does not open his doors to BJP leaders either, though the State has sent 25 MPs to Parliament from his party," lashed the Opposition leader.

Kumaraswamy too said that the State's priorities don't seem to have mattered to the PM, who seemed to have more love for Pakistan. "Did the oppressed of Pakistan vote for him or the people affected by floods here? Stop this 'japa' (chanting) of Pakistan and give Karnataka the funds it is due," Kumaraswamy tweeted in a jibe.

He further said, "Even when there is 35,000 crores in losses, what the State got were pennies. There are pending payments from Nrega and Karnataka's share of GST, nor any drought relief. You cannot talk about any of these issues, but want to talk about Pakistan only."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 23-hour visit to Karnataka has left a big debate on how Karnataka continues to be neglected as far as Central funds are concerned.

It was not just the Opposition that was training its guns on Modi's silence as far as release of funds were concerned. It started with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa from his own party speaking out at a farmers' convention in Tumkur.

"The floods in August saw nearly 3 lakh houses damaged, roads and bridges destroyed. We incurred a loss of more than 30,000 crores and I have pleaded with the PM at least three to four times about this. But no aid has come yet, I will go and meet him again with some Ministers when he stays at the Raj Bhavan, I will bring this to his notice again," Yediyurappa said in his Kannada speech. The speech was not translated, so the PM perhaps remained unaware of the contents at the time.

In any case, the CM's attempts to meet him again at the end of the day's programmes went in vain — the PM reached the Raj Bhavan around 7.20 and though Yediyurappa waited for about 20 minutes, he could not get an audience then. All his office said was that he will go with senior Ministers to Delhi to meet the PM again and brief him about the State's losses.

first published:January 03, 2020, 15:26 IST