Hero Image

Funds devolution rows: Siddaramaiah defends Raghuram Rajan, accuses BJP of twisting his report to defend itself

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday attacked the BJP, accusing the party of twisting former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan committee report to suit its political narrative. The saffron party had claimed that the committee had in 2013 suggested that Karnataka’s share of funds from the Centre should be reduced from 4.13% to 3.73%.

The CM’s defense of the former RBI governor on social media platform X comes amidst reports of the Congress party considering fielding the latter for a Rajya Sabha ticket. “The narrative, suggesting that the committee headed by Raghuram Rajan recommended a reduction in Karnataka's share of tax revenue is not only inaccurate but also a misinterpretation of the committee's role,” Siddaramaiah said. The committee’s focus, he added, was on ensuring a balanced distribution of certain development funds to enhance the overall growth and progress of all states, particularly those lagging in specific development parameters.

“These recommendations were not meant to replace existing methodologies for devolution of taxes allocation,” he said. The Finance Commission, he added, operated independently of such committees. “Was the 15th Finance Commission constituted in 2019 by [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi influenced by some committee which gave a report in September 2013?”

The CM hit out at the BJP’s state party president BY Vijayendra- who had made the statements, accusing him of being willing to “forsake the very heart and soul of Kannadiga pride,” all for the sake of winning approval from BJP high command. The BJP leaders’ actions, he said, revealed a “chilling indifference” to the fate of the state. “This act of betrayal, this glaring abandonment of honesty, tears at the very essence of Karnataka Pride,” he added.

With Lok Sabha polls a few months away, the Congress and its allies have been cornering the BJP on the topic of fiscal inequality towards the states, with protests in the national capital as well as social media campaigns.