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Karnataka: BJP slams Siddaramaiah government for diverting SC/ST funds to implement its five guarantee scheme

R Ashoka said, “If Babasaheb Ambedkar was alive, he’d have probably taken the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to task.”

The Congress government in Karnataka recently decided that it will utilise funds meant for the SC/ST communities to implement the five guarantee schemes it had promised during the assembly elections. The development prompted BJP and Congress ally Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) to launch scathing attacks on the Congress government. 

The BJP stated that it is planning to approach the Court and described it as a ‘misappropriation’ of funds and accused Congress of ‘swindling funds’ meant for the SC/ST community. On its part, DSS announced that it would end its support to the grand old party and stage protests against this decision.  

According to reports, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chaired a meeting of the Council for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Development on Friday (5th July). During the meeting, the Congress government diverted around 37% of the funds allocated under the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal-Sub-Plan (SCSP-TSP) for the implementation of its guarantee schemes.  

After the meeting, Karnataka BJP charged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of ‘swindling’ money meant for Dalits and Tribals. Taking to X, Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, R Ashoka, shared media reports regarding the same. 

R Ashoka said, “If Babasaheb Ambedkar was alive, he’d have probably taken the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to task.”

The BJP leader further said that the state government has already embezzled Rs 187 crore belonging to the Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation. 

The party has accused Congress of diverting Rs 14,800 crore funds towards the implementation of the five guarantee schemes. BJP emphaised that the Congress party was diverting funds meant for the welfare of downtrodden communities.

The Congress government has reportedly decided to utilise Rs 7,881.91 crore of SCSP-TSP for ‘Gruhalakshmi’ scheme, Rs 70.28 crore for ‘Bhagyalakshmi’ scheme, Rs 2585.93 crore for ‘Gruhajyoti’ scheme, Rs 448.15 crore for ‘Annabhagya’ scheme, Rs 2,187 crore for the direct benefit transfer of ‘Annabhagya’ scheme, and Rs 1,451.45 crore for ‘Shakti’ scheme and Rs 175.50 crore for ‘Yuva Nidhi’ scheme.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (6th July), DSS factions that supported Congress in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections announced that they are ending their support. It stressed that the Congress party was not working “wholeheartedly” for the welfare of SC & ST communities. 

Indudhar Honnapura of DSS said, “The diversion of SCPTSP funds is an example of unilateral decisions the govt has taken.”

The DSS decision to end political support to the Congress party could spell troubles for the grand old party, especially in the wake of the upcoming Zilla and Taluk panchayat elections in the state.  

Nonetheless, CM Siddaramaiah defended the decision of his government claiming that most of the beneficiaries of these guarantees are from SC/ST communities.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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