Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday took potshots at the Congress, saying that its ‘guarantee’ promises in Karnataka had put burden on developmental activities besides hurting the state budget. Also, the Lok Sabha manifesto of the Congress party is non-implementable, she added.

“The promises made by the Congress in their manifesto are un-implementable and there will be budget deficit. There would be lack of funds to implement those,” she told reporters in Bengaluru.

“Do you a vision for this country? Do you have a hope about how technology and education can help our youth,” she asked. Congress released its manifesto for Lok Sabha polls on Friday.

Sitharaman alleged that Congress makes promises just for the sake of it and termed the promises as handouts.

“They haven’t got a clear idea of how to give a politically viable alternative to prime minister Modi. Their simple agenda is to remove prime minister from his post and ‘we will come back, but who’s we they are not sure about’,” she said, targeting the opposition INDIA bloc.

Sitharaman targeted the Congress government in Karnataka.”First of all, I want them (Karnataka government) to say why in May 2023, four projects totalling Rs 20,000 crores, were stopped? Why is ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ which is bringing drinking water to every house not being encouraged? They don’t want to do it (avail the benefits of the Centre’s programme) and that is why I was very fascinated by the comment which I think Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has made that he will now, in the context of all the water shortages and everything else happening, he will invest and focus more on irrigation projects rather than building roads,” she said.”So it’s a conceding of a point by the state’s own deputy chief minister. So it is not Centre giving fund or not. You don’t put it in the right hand. You stop it in May 2023 and then after the year you say no, I will put it all for irrigation. Now they have accepted their own bad planning or you started in one direction, you are going in a different direction. The central government is continuing with its ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ as much as all the commitments which are given for irrigation as well,” she added.

Congress made a slew of promises to various sections of society in its manifesto including a legal guarantee for MSP, raising the minimum daily wage under MGNREGA to Rs 400,a confirmed first job and an annual stipend of Rs 1 lakh to educated youth, an assistance worth Rs 1 lakh annually to a woman from poor families, among others.

In Karnataka, where it wrested power from BJP last year, the Congress party’s five “guarantees” included 200 units of free power to all; Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family; 10 kg of rice free to all members of a BPL family; Rs 3,000 every month for graduate youth; Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (age group of 18-25) for two years; and free travel in government buses for women.

Congress bagged 135 seats in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly ousting the then-ruling BJP, which got 66 seats while the Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats in the results declared on May 13.

Soon after coming to power in the southern state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah-led government had for the implementation of those pre-poll promises allocated a total of Rs 35,410 crore in its first full Budget tabled in July. (ANI)

Source link