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Attempt being made to create ‘confusion’ about budget, says Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy

With 10 days left for the JDS-Congress coalition government’s first ever budget, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today said an attempt was being made to create confusion about presentation of the full-fledged budget.

Kumaraswamy said he was not at any one’s mercy, even as he tried to reaffirm his commitment to protect the interest of farmers with farm loan waiver.

On presentation of budget, he said “Talks are going on about whether budget has to be presented or not. …I don’t know, because, last time when budget was presented in February about hundred legislators who were there then have lost (election), and about hundred new people have come (as MLAs),” he said.

Addressing a meeting of representatives of cooperative banks, Kumaraswamy said “They (new MLAs) don’t know (about old budget).

If I continue with the vote on account that was approved by the then MLAs, who have now lost, we will have to see whether it will lead to breach of privilege of new MLAs.” “If some one brings in a privilege motion, what should I do? There are issues,” he said.

Kumaraswamy, who also holds finance portfolio, is scheduled to present the budget on July 5.

Recently differences had emerged on presentation of the full-fledged budget, as former chief minister and Chairman of the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee Siddaramaiah had openly suggested that there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would do.

Yesterday, a video clip purportedly showing Siddaramaih, who also held Finance portfolio in the previous government, expressing his displeasure over presentation of fresh budget to few Congress MLAs who had gone meet him at a nature therapy hospital in Dharmasthala, has gone viral.

Kumaraswamy, without taking any names, said “Some have suggested that let the budget be presented after the parliament election, so there are issues..” Seeking suggestions from Cooperative banks to support farmers, the chief minister said the intention should be that the poor farmer should get the benefits.

Kumaraswamy said out of good intention to help people, he took the decision about farm loan waiver.

“Will I get commission from this? I don’t get any commission from this loan waiver. I know to whom commissions go in governments.”

“I know that there are troubles at each step for me…I will have to mobilise money. Previous Finance Minister has himself said where will I get the money from? There are issues,” he said.

Kumaraswamy said he has come to know about some Finance department officials in his government suggesting to nationalised banks against lowering their interest rate, while speculating about the political scenario that may arise after Lok Sabha election in the state.

“Some of our officials have told nationalised bank officials, how long this government will remain; it has come in the media also. They have said let them do new budget after the Parliament election.”

“I’m not at the mercy of anyone…How long I will be there is not important. As long as I stay what I will give to my people is important for me….,” he said.

He said on the one side there was pressure on him for farm loan waiver, while on the other, his officials are telling nationalised banks “negative things.” “If someone has come from finance department they will have to tell here….I’m warning Finance department officials,” Kumaraswamy added.

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