Prime News, National, Karnataka, New Delhi, June 15: – Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and congratulated him on being re-elected for a second term. A couple of issues concerning Karnataka came up for discussion, sources said.
The chief minister sought central assistance to the state reeling under severe drought due to 45 per cent shortfall in the rainfall.
Before the Lok Sabha polls, the state government in its memorandum to the Centre had sought a financial assistance of Rs 2,064 crore to provide relief to farmers hit by drought during the rabi season.
Kumaraswamy also requested Modi to ensure the pending funds under MNREGA scheme are released at the earliest besides sharing the state government’s success in implementing the farm loan waiver, an official statement said.
In the meeting, the Karnataka Chief Minister informed Modi that the state was facing drought this year too because of 45 per cent shortfall in rainfall.
“The CM requested the prime minister to come forward to help the state in this situation,” the statement added.
Kumaraswamy also raised the matter of pending funds of Rs 1,500 crore to the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme and requested the Centre to release this amount at the earliest.
Karnataka has declared drought in 156 taluks in 30 districts. As many as 107 taluks are facing severe drought, while 49 taluks have moderate drought.
About 20.40 lakh hectare farm land has been affected due to the drought in the state. Crop loss is estimated in 19.46 lakh hectare, according to the state government.
The state had faced drought during the kharif season of 2018-19 crop year (July-June).
On the issue of the expansion of Karnataka Cabinet, Kumaraswamy told media that it is a political issue and he will manage it. “That is a political issue, leave it. We will manage it and there is nothing to worry,” he said.
Amidst coalition’s troubles and decimation of the ruling combine in elections, Kumaraswamy on Friday expanded his Cabinet by inducting two independent MLAs.
Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to R Shankar and H Nagesh at the Raj Bhavan where deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and others were also present.
Kumaraswamy’s basket of problems is threatening to dislodge the coalition government. What is really troubling the state government is the rebellion from some of the Congress leaders who have time and again threatened to switch over to the BJP.
To quell the rebellion, Congress-JD(S) combine decided to expand the cabinet to keep the BJP at bay, at least for the time being. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa has time and again hinted at disrupting the coalition government. But luckily for Kumaraswamy, BJP high command advised Yeddyurappa against troubling the state government.
Another major issue that is likely to trouble the state government is its decision to sell more than 3,000 acres of land in Ballari to Jindal Steel Works (JSW) at a throwaway price. Accusing the government of trying to favour JSW, BJP has threatened to take the fight to the next level if the deal is not scrapped.
In Karnataka, BJP is the single largest party with 105 members in the 225 member assembly, while the ruling coalition of Congress and JD(U) has 117 members. 79 legislators belong to Congress, 37 from JD(S)and 1 from BSP. (MR, NGB, Inputs: Agencies).