Siddaramaiah Attacks PM Modi over ‘North-South Divide’; Karnataka CM Favours Extreme Left, Dravida Philosophy, Says BJP – News18

The debate on the so-called north-south divide in the country has been reignited. Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah once again raised the issue as he launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that they “have been trying to create a divide between the people of the north and the south”.

Calling Karnataka a daughter of India, the CM stated that India as a country “has never discriminated against anyone, but people like Modi spew venom”.

Taking to social media site X, Siddaramaiah added, “Just because the elections in the Southern States are over, an ungrateful Prime Minister is now trying to divide South and North Indians by targeting people from the Southern States.”

The reaction from Siddaramaiah came in the background of PM Modi’s public address in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday, where he described the ongoing elections as a battle between BJP’s policy of “Santushtikaran” (contentment) versus the INDIA bloc’s “Tushtikaran” (appeasement).

PM Modi, during his speech, accused Congress leaders, especially the top brass, of coming to northern states and “seeking votes and then, when they go down south, they abuse north Indians”.

“Down south, they abuse north Indians, but come and seek your votes here. They do nothing to oppose their allies like DMK, whose leaders abuse our Sanatana Dharma. Leaders from the Congress and SP keep mum when leaders from the Left parties in Kerala, Congress leaders from Karnataka and Telangana abuse north Indians. Can we forgive such divisive forces?” asked the PM during the rally.

Modi said that parties like the Congress and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh have been trying to change the Constitution and allocate the quota set aside for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes to Muslims, just like how they have done in Karnataka. He added that under the garb of pseudo-secularism, the opposition has been triggering a fight between Hindus and Muslims while also looking at allocating a 15 per cent quota to minorities alone.

“They (INDIA bloc) are looking at applying the Karnataka model of quota allocation on a communal basis across the country, and this Modi will never allow them to do, in his lifetime,” the PM said.

Senior Congress leader and AICC member Mansoor Khan reacted to this statement by the PM as one of “political appeasement to seek votes at a time when the BJP is desperate to win”.

“We, the Congress, are the ones who have been going around the country with our Bharat Jodo campaign, but Modi is all set to implement his Bharat Todo strategy. No Prime Minister in the history of India has used the north-south divide, discriminating between Hindus and Muslims as much as this PM has. Be it mangalsutra, wealth redistribution, or the Muslim bogey, he has brought the election down to such low standards. Where does he speak about development or the achievements of this government?” said Khan to News18.

BJP spokesperson Malavika Avinash countered the Congress by asking the party and CM Siddaramaiah to recall what the party’s lone state Lok Sabha MP, DK Suresh, said on a “separate nation” (South India) just before the elections. Neither Siddaramaiah nor the Congress asked Suresh to apologise to the nation for his statement, she said.

“It is the Congress that discriminates. PM Modi has done all he can to keep the country together, all its communities together, and never discriminated on the basis of region, religion, language, or community when it comes to providing for the people. It is Siddaramaiah who subscribes to the extreme Left and Dravida philosophy, which he has imbibed from the DMK in Tamil Nadu,” Malavika said.

This is not the first time that the Karnataka chief minister has taken on the Centre and the BJP on the issue of divisive politics.

Siddaramaiah, along with the state Congress unit, had carried out a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar in February against the Centre’s alleged injustice to Karnataka when it came to tax devolution and grants-in-aid.

Karnataka, which led the protests, alleged that the central government’s reduction in tax devolution has resulted in a loss of over Rs 45,000 crore to the state in the last four years.

“The hard-earned money and taxes paid by our Kannadigas have not been useful for the state during our tough times as we face severe drought across the state. All the money that the state deserves is going to the northern states,” Siddaramaiah told News18 during an interview at the Delhi protests.

Three of the major southern states, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, are leading what is called the #southtaxmovement, which the governments say is against PM Modi and his governance, which favours the northern states. As an example, they point out that when it comes to states like Uttar Pradesh (around Rs 2.29 thousand crore), the distribution tax revenue has been unfairly more than the southern part of the country. UP benefits more than the entire southern states combined (around Rs 1.93 thousand crore), they argue.

The BJP had earlier countered this allegation by Karnataka as a politically opportunistic move by the Congress. BJP’s social media head and spokesperson Amit Malviya called this stand by the Congress “deplorable” and a typical characteristic of the party’s leaders, who are trusted allies of the “tukde tukde gang” (a phrase used by the BJP to refer to those who are alleged sympathisers of separatists in India).

The BJP asked Siddaramaiah to examine the funds Bengaluru gets versus the regions like Kalyana Karnataka and Kalburgi before taking up issues such as the north-south divide in politics.

“He (Siddaramaiah) is trying to blame the Centre for his own failures and broken promises. He forgets that many companies in Bengaluru have pan-India operations and pay taxes accordingly. The location of direct tax collection is not a fair basis for sharing tax, as the money comes from all over India,” Malviya earlier said in a social media post.

Siddaramaiah also took on Maharashtra chief minister and BJP ally Eknath Shinde, who recently remarked that the Congress-led government in Karnataka would collapse after the Lok Sabha elections.

“Instead of speaking about the collapse of our Congress government, let him first save their (Shinde’s) government from collapse,” retaliated the Karnataka CM.

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