BJP says the Karnataka govt's shortcomings, including the policy paralysis and corruption allegations, point to its inefficiency in dealing with important issues
Bengaluru: Two days before the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka completes four years in office, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released a “chargesheet" on the failures of the state government.
In the 63-page release, the BJP says the government’s shortcomings, including the law and order situation, policy paralysis, corruption allegations and rising debt, point to its inefficiency in dealing with important issues.
Heading into the last year before state elections, the BJP has increased the tempo of its attacks on Siddaramaiah and his government, which has faced accusations of corruption and sex scandals.
“This government has failed to live up to the expectations of the people," Jagadish Shettar, former chief minister and leader of the opposition in the assembly, said on Thursday in Bengaluru.
The book, which is full of caricatures mocking Siddaramaiah, highlights the alleged shortcomings of various government departments. As proof of Congress misrule in the state, Shettar pointed to an April 2017 survey by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) that placed Karnataka at the top spot in terms of corruption faced by people in accessing public services.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara denied all allegations and said the BJP had “misinformed and misguided" the people with inaccurate statistics and information provided in the book which he referred to as a “bundle of lies".
Shettar pointed to the state government’s rising debt, which stands at over ₹ 2.42 lakh crore as the Congress government has borrower ₹ 1,269.78 crore in the last four years.
Parameshwara said that although the debt had risen on account of lake development and other infrastructure projects, the government was still within the limit of 25% of the gross state domestic product for 2017-18 as per the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act.
BJP state president B.S.Yeddyurappa—forced to step down as chief minister over corruption allegations in August 2011—said the party would undertake a tour of all the districts in the state to assess the drought situation. The BJP also alleged that of the Rs1.685.52 crore of central aid, only Rs700-800 crore was given out to farmers in Karnataka, which is facing its second consecutive drought year.
Yeddyurappa claimed that sexual assault, murder, kidnapping and other crimes were on the rise in the state.
“I am not sure where they (BJP) got their figures and the period," said Parameshwara, who is also the home minister of Karnataka. He said none of the BJP’s statistics matched the police department’s official figures.
Karnataka accounts for 4.7% of the crimes committed in the country, he said, far lower than BJP-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.