All focus on Cauvery belt, little on NK, coast

One of the biggest criticisms the budget presented by Chief Minister and Finance Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday is its focus on Old Mysore region, especially the districts of Hassan, Ramanagaram, and Mandya — all Janata Dal (Secular) bastions.

Even senior Congressman H.K. Patil, who is upset for being denied a ministerial berth, openly criticised the budget by terming it “south-centric” at the cost of north Karnataka. BJP MLAs from coastal districts protested in the House against alleged “neglect” of the region.

A closer look at the budget proposals reveals that more allocation has been made for Old Mysore region, where the JD(S) has its roots and won most of the seats in the 2018 Assembly elections. Apart from Hassan Ramanagaram and Mandya, large allocations have been made for Tumakuru, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural, and Chickballapur districts. Leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) did not dispute the fact that Mr. Kumaraswamy is more considerate to the Vokkaliga heartland.

Big share

A glance at the budget proposals reveals that total allocation made for Hassan, Ramanagaram and Mandya is to the tune of Rs. 562.5 crore. While Hassan district got a whopping allocation of Rs. 317.5 crore, Ramanagaram got Rs. 130 crore, and Mandya Rs. 115 crore, besides programmes being announced. Tumakuru bagged a Rs. 2,000-crore project for production of sports and fitness goods, aimed at creating one lakh jobs.

Hassan district bagged a mega diary project, a new ring road for Hassan city, a project to fill water to 160 lakes in Dudda and Shantigrama hoblis from the Hemavati river, and funds for development of Channaptana lake. A special grant for the development of Mandya city, filling up of lakes in Mandya district from the Lokapavani river are among the schemes sanctioned for Mandya district. Major allocations for Ramanagaram district include a new medical college at Kanakapura, a superspeciality hospital in Ramanagaram, and a film city and a film university in Ramanagaram.

Earmarking funds for providing Israel model irrigation facility for 5,000 hectares of dry land in Kolar district, and setting up of an industry for mobile phone components in Chickballapur are among the announcements focused on these JD(S) bastions.

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