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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s Dharna: Demanding Justice Amid Drought Crisis


Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took a bold stand today, staging a dharna (protest) in Bengaluru to express his frustration over the delay in the release of drought relief funds by the Central government. The protest unfolded in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises of Vidhana Soudha, which houses the Legislature and State Secretariat.

Siddaramaiah’s fiery words were aimed at drawing public attention to the perceived injustice done to Karnataka and its people by the BJP-led government at the Centre. He minced no words in criticizing both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for their alleged apathy towards the state’s plight.

The chief minister highlighted that Karnataka has been grappling with an unprecedented drought, the most severe in a century. According to government survey reports, 223 out of 240 taluks (administrative subdivisions) in the state are affected by the water scarcity. Despite this dire situation, the much-needed drought relief funds have not been forthcoming from the Centre.

Siddaramaiah accused Modi and Shah of harboring ill feelings towards Karnataka and its farmers, leading to the prolonged delay in disbursing the funds. The state government had sought assistance in line with the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms, but their pleas were ignored. Memoranda sent to the Centre requesting grants were met with silence, leaving Karnataka to fend for itself.

What Karnataka Govt. has Done?

In a desperate bid to alleviate the suffering of farmers, the state government dipped into its own coffers, providing Rs 2,000 to each affected farmer. This move cost the state Rs 650 crore, but it was a necessary step to mitigate the impact of crop losses on 48,000 hectares due to inadequate rainfall.

Siddaramaiah didn’t mince his words when he questioned the BJP leaders: “With what face are Modi and Shah coming to Karnataka for Lok Sabha election campaigning?” The ruling Congress party echoed his sentiments, raising slogans of “Go back Modi” and “Go back Shah.”

The Supreme Court’s intervention brought some hope. On Monday, Siddaramaiah expressed gratitude for the court’s role in pushing the Centre to address the issue. The Election Commission cleared the way for the Centre to engage with Karnataka regarding financial assistance for drought management. The chief minister hailed this as a victory in the state’s fight for justice and relief.

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