Belagavi, Dec 6 – Accusing a section of media for misquoting him, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday asked what was wrong in increasing the state budget allocation for minorities.
“What is wrong with that?” Siddaramaiah told reporters when he was asked to comment on his remark to increase the annual budget for minorities from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.
“All I said in that event was – including Muslims all communities are given protection in the state. If you ignore a certain portion of my speech, what am I supposed to do,” he countered here on the sidelines of winter session here.
However, apart from mentioning about giving protection to all religious communities, Siddaramaiah assured the Muslim community of his government increasing the budget allocation for minorities’ community.
He said: “We have given Rs 4,000 crore to the minorities’ department. We will increase it every year. Lastly (I want to say this much), we will increase it to Rs 10,000 crore. Because, the last government reduced it. Because you (Muslims) should get an education. Your religious centres should be developed.”
“We will not allow injustice to happen to you (Muslims). I will work towards giving you protection. In the same way I will give protection to all other religions,” CM added.
Siddaramaiah made these remarks while addressing an event organised by Muslim organisation yesterday, which was widely televised by Kannada news channels.
The BJP picked up the rhetoric, and accused Siddaramaiah for playing appeasement politics.
Former chief Minister and senior BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai said Siddaramaiah’s statement is nothing, but an act of appeasement politics. “It seems that the CM has forgotten his duty of rendering justice to one and all,” he said.
In his official X handle, Bommai said the CM intends to give special rights to minority communities in the country’s resources and called it as appeasement and vote bank politics.
Already, there are departments for the minorities like the Wakf Board, Minority Commission and Minority Corporation, and funds have been given to the community through several programmes, he said.
“The intention of all the governments has been that the minority community must get education and become self-reliant, but CM’s statement of riding over other communities is highly condemnable,” Ex-CM said.
Bommai alleged that the funds meant for SC and STs have been diverted to implement guarantee schemes and done injustice to them. “Siddaramaiah said more grants would be given for the Muslims which is nothing, but playing appeasement politics. This will not only bankrupt the state treasury, but also cause social differentiation,” he said.