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Southern states may demand separate nation: Cong MP

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 01, 2024 19:13 IST
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Claiming taxes collected from the south were being distributed to north India and that the former were not getting their due share, Congress MP D K Suresh on Thursday said the southern states will be forced to demand for a separate nation if the 'injustice' was not rectified.

IMAGE: Congress leader D K Suresh. Photograph: ANI Photo

His brother and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said Suresh only spoke about the public perception, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party lashed out at the Lok Sabha member.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said 'separate nationhood to south India cannot be asked for. The sovereignty should prevail'.


However, he said 'injustice' was happening vis-a-vis tax devolution.

Suresh, who represents the Bangalore Rural seat, claimed the taxes collected from southern states were being distributed to North India. Further, Hindi was being 'imposed' on South India in every aspect.

Responding to the Union Budget tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh told reporters in New Delhi that it will be enough if the Centre gave Karnataka its share of money.

"Our demand is that we must get our share of GST, Customs from our state and direct taxes. We have been witnessing a lot of injustice to South India...we are seeing our share of money being distributed in North India."

He alleged injustice has been meted out to South India in all aspects.

"If we do not condemn it today, then in the coming days a necessity will arise to put forth a proposal for a separate nation (for the south)," Suresh said.

Elaborating, he said if one looks at the present financial condition then he can see the money from southern states going to the north.

"The Centre is collecting taxes to the tune of more than Rs 4 lakh crore from Karnataka but how much we are getting in return? We must question this. Since the 16th Finance Commission is going to start, if these (the anomalies) are not rectified then the southern states will have to raise their voice," Suresh added.

Alleging that Hindi was being imposed on South India in every aspect, he said the ordinance mandating 60 per cent use of Kannada in signboards of businesses and establishments was 'rejected' by Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot.

When pointed out at the Raj Bhavan's clarification that the Governor has not rejected but returned the ordinance asking the government to table it in the assembly, Suresh said 'where is the respect to Kannadigas if all the Governors start expressing this way'.

Responding to Suresh's comments deputy CM Shivakumar said his brother spoke only about the public perception.

"I belong to Akhand Bharat. India is one. He (Suresh) has only expressed people's view. People are thinking that they are being ignored. He has only spoken about the injustice happening to people," the DCM said.

He added that he wanted India to remain united 'as everyone is the child of Mother Land'.

"From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one nation. There should not be injustice anywhere. Our remotest village should get encouragement similar to the Hindi belt," Shivakumar added.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said one can make demands and put pressure on the Centre because India is a federal state.

"We have agreed to federalism. Further, the state governments give taxes. Centre does not have its area to extract taxes. The tax money that goes from here is distributed to us by the Finance Commission. Now injustice has happened to us in tax distribution. Devolution of taxes is not happening properly. There was 1.07 per cent decrease in devolution of taxes from 14th finance commission to 15th finance commission. It happened during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure," he said.

"We (Karnataka) are No.2 in the country in tax collection after Maharashtra. Yet, injustice is happening to us," he said.

Opposition BJP condemned Suresh's statement saying this was 'Bharat Todo movement'.

The party's state president B Y Vijayendra strongly condemned Suresh' statement.

"People in responsible position should weigh well before speaking."

BJP MLC N Ravi Kumar told reporters that 'when (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi is taking out Bharat Jodo Yatra (Unity March), his MP is talking about Bharat Todo (break India)'.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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