With an eye on 2018 Assembly elections in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the state budget for 2017-18
on Wednesday at Vidhana Soudha in the city.
The farmers, who are reeling under successive droughts, were expecting relief from the state budget, but were a disappointed lot. The Chief Minister didn’t announce the waiver of farmers’ loans. Instead, he offered sops to the farmers with low interest rates on loans.
Siddaramaiah has announced developing a ‘film city’ at Himmavu village in Nanjangud taluk of Mysuru district and introduction of 50 electric buses for the convenience of commuters in Mysuru city.
This budget, the 12th budget from the Chief Minister, is likely to be his last full fledged budget. Siddaramaiah had rejected BJP contention of presenting the budget when election code of conduct was in vogue due to two Assembly by-elections scheduled for April 9 in Gundlupet and Nanjangud putting the ball on their own court citing BJP-led NDA government presenting budget for next fiscal with the electoral process for five state Assemblies was in full swing. It is a record 12th budget for Siddaramaiah, who also holds the
finance portfolio. It is the fourth as chief minister.
Siddaramaiah as Finance Minister in Janata Dal regime had presented the Budget for seven times.
The budget is no doubt a soft one with sops to various sections of the society in view of elections due next year.
The 10-day Assembly session is likely to be stormy as Opposition BJP and JD(S) are rearing up to attack the Siddaramaiah government on issues such as inadequate relief works in drought hit districts, drinking water
shortage and various other issues, including corruption charges.
BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa is hell bent to seek the ruling Congress party to announce loan waiver to the farmers due to severe drought. “We will not allow the budget session to be held if Siddaramaiah fails to address the issue,” he had warned.