Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday held a meeting with officials of various departments regarding the implementation of guarantees announced by the Congress party before the elections, ahead of the Cabinet assembling together on June 1 to decide on it.
The chief minister on Monday held consultations with senior officials of finance, transport, food and civil supplies, energy and other departments and asked them to prepare a report on the implementation of the guarantees.
Siddaramaiah will hold a consultation with all the ministers on Wednesday regarding the implementation of the guarantee schemes, the chief minister's office said in a statement, adding that an official decision will be taken in this regard at the Cabinet meeting to be held on Thursday.
Senior officials of various departments including chief secretary Vandita Sharma participated in the meeting and made presentations on the proposed implementation of the guarantees.
The Congress had promised in its election manifesto to implement the guarantees — 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti), on the very first day of assuming power in the state.
There is mounting pressure on the new Congress government from opposition parties and various sections of people from across the state, to fulfill its five poll guarantees.
After having accorded in-principal approval for the guarantees in the first cabinet meeting on May 20, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said they would "most likely" be implemented after the next Cabinet meeting. He had also said that initial estimates indicate it would cost the exchequer Rs 50,000 crore annually.
Earlier in the day today, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said there is a "responsible government" in the state which will fulfill all the guarantees made to the people ahead of the Assembly polls.
He, however, did not specify any timeline to implement the guarantees, but said the Cabinet meeting on June 1 will discuss fulfilling them.
"There is a Cabinet meeting on June 1. The Chief Minister has the responsibility of the Finance department. He will discuss with officials and bring the relevant information to the Cabinet. We will keep up our promise. We will have to do it systematically and preparations are on," Shivakumar said.
He said, "There is a responsible government in the state and it will keep up the promises made to its people and there is no need to worry."
However, senior BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai accused the Congress of cheating voters after coming to power by trying to attach conditions to the guarantees that it had promised to fulfill.
Expressing doubts about the ruling Congress implementing the guarantees fully as promised, the former CM said their true colours will be exposed in a few days.