JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda today rejected former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah’s suggestion that the new state government should present a supplementary budget, instead of a fresh budget, by citing a parliamentary precedence involving him as the prime minister.
“I do not want to criticise Siddaramaiah’s suggestion. He has presented several budgets before, but the Chief Minister (H D Kumaraswamy) is not doing anything new. There is a parliamentary precedence. It is appropriate for a new government to present a budget than a supplementary,” he told PTI in an interview here.
Deve Gowda said the then Union finance minister P Chidambaram had presented the budget on July 22, 1996, when he was the prime minister during the United Front rule.
“I was heading the United Front government as prime minister and Chidambaram was the finance minister as the Congress had given outside support. The then coalition government had presented a full-fledged budget and it was called a ‘dream budget’. Did the Congress’s shine vanish by presenting a new budget?” he asked.
Moreover, the United Front government had not discontinued any of the schemes launched by the Congress because of compulsions of a coalition government, Deve Gowda said.
“Since the Congress had given outside support to my government, I had to accommodate their schemes in the budget. I did it due to coalition compulsions,” he said.
Even Kumaraswamy had been assuring that he would not discontinue any of the schemes and programmes of the previous Congress government in the state as he did not want any trouble in the functioning of the coalition government, Deve Gowda said.
Siddaramaiah, in stark contrast, had been pitching for a supplementary budget, instead of a new budget, as suggested by Kumaraswamy, he added.
Disagreeing with Siddaramaiah, Deve Gowda further said a fresh budget was needed for the new government to send a new message to the people of the state. He added that both the Congress and the JD(S) had, before the state Assembly polls, promised several new schemes and hence, a supplementary budget would not be able to incorporate them all.
Deve Gowda, however, pinned hopes on the Congress high-command and the party’s central leadership, including Karnataka affairs in-charge K C Venugopal, for resolving issues cropping up in a coalition set-up.
The budget session of the state Assembly is scheduled to commence on July 5.
On B S Yeddyurappa’s secret meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in Ahmedabad, the former prime minister said he did not want to assume what transpired between the two, but added that as per reports, they were not in a mood to destabilise the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka.
Asked if he was satisfied with the coalition government, Deve Gowda said, “All these difficulties crop up in the initial stages and later subside. In the present circumstances, both the parties must realise that to run a smooth government, communal forces would have to be kept at bay.”
Asked about giving a cabinet berth to a Muslim legislator, the JD(S) supremo said it was the prerogative of the chief minister, who would have to look at giving representation to those communities that had been “unfortunate”.
However, there were coalition compulsions the chief minister had to fight with, he said, adding, “Let us wait and watch what does the chief minister do.”