Bengaluru: Asserting that Karnataka was rated as one of the most progressive states of India, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the ruling Congress gave equal importance to social and economic sectors.
“Karnataka has been appreciated as one of the most progressive states in the country with proactive industrial policy and welfare schemes for the benefit of the people,” Siddaramaiah said at ‘Meet the Press’ event, held to mark the completion of two years of his government.
Claiming that the state remained the most preferred destination for investments, the chief minister said his government had fulfilled 100 of the 160 promises it had made in the party manifesto before May 2013 assembly elections.
“Our pro-poor schemes such as cheaper foodgrain to poor people, free milk supply to students, interest-free loans to farmers and welfare schemes to other sections of society are benefiting the people across the state,” Siddaramaiah said.
Claiming that the Congress would do well in the gram panchayat polls later this month and the Bengaluru civic body elections in July, the chief minister said the people were intelligent and know whom to elect.
“I regret to say the (opposition) BJP and JD-S were more worried about their fate in the ensuing elections and indulging in making baseless allegations against our government and party,” Siddaramaiah said.
The chief minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, said in the three state budgets he presented so far, he had ensured proportionate allotment of resources to all sectors, especially, agriculture, irrigation, power, roads, education, healthcare and urban infrastructure, including in Bengaluru.
“By adding 3,000 MW over the next three years, the state will have surplus power. We have allotted Rs.13,000 crore in this fiscal budget to execute pending irrigation projects for increasing foodgrains production,” he said.
Defending the amendment bill to split the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and superseding it four days before its five-year term was to end on April 22, Siddaramaiah said as the city’s population exploded to 11 million, it was essential to trifurcate the civic body for administrating the city better and improving the infrastructure, including basic amenities.
“The civic body (BBMP) has been expanded by including seven city municipal councils, one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase its civic wards to 198 from 100 in 2007 by the then BJP-JD-S government. It has become unwieldy. We need to split it for all-round development of the city,” he added.