This Lok Sabha election is the ‘second freedom struggle’, says Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

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This Lok Sabha election is the ‘second freedom struggle’, says Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah 

Belagavi: Terming the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as the “second freedom struggle”, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday claimed that if the BJP gets 400 seats, the Constitution will be changed.

Addressing a joint press conference here with Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar, he said that Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s Constitution gives equal opportunity to all and the BJP is going against it.

“Ambedkar said that mere political freedom is not enough for a country. Everyone should get economic and social freedom. The Congress government has implemented guarantees to empower the weaker section,” he said.

“We have fulfilled our promises in the past eight months after coming to power in the state, we have fulfilled five guarantees and the people have gained confidence,” he said.

Siddaramaiah recalled that the BJP said that if the guarantees were implemented, the state would become financially bankrupt and the development works would stop.

“We were accused of providing guarantees only until the Lok Sabha elections and then stopping them. We have earmarked Rs 52,009 crore for guarantees in the budget. We have earmarked a total of Rs 1.20 lakh crores in 2024-25, including Rs 68,000 crore for development works. Our government’s budget size is Rs 3.71 lakh crore, (former CM Basavaraj) Bommai’s budget was Rs 3.09 lakh crore in 2023-24,” he said.

The Chief Minister charged the BJP with making false accusations “to make people lose confidence in Congress”.

“The BJP is not in favour of guarantee schemes. Their conspiracy is to stop it. The prosperity of the poor, farmers, women, Dalits, and minorities is not important to them,” he said.

“The caste census is very important to give justice to the underprivileged and to get them benefits from the government. This time, the people will trust Congress,” he said, expressing confidence in winning more seats from the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar described this election as a fight between the Congress’ promises and BJP’s falsehoods.

“We have fulfilled all our promises. BJP has been betraying people for 10 years with its false promises. This election is a fight between the promises and falsehoods,” he said.

“Many BJP leaders, including former CM B.S Yediyurappa, BJP state President B.Y. Vijayendra, and Leader of the Opposition R. Ashoka have said that there won’t be any guarantees after the elections, but they are daydreaming. BJP leaders are trying to stop the guarantees but be rest assured, we won’t let that happen,” he added.

“The BJP keeps harping on religion but it opposes our government’s legislation to improve the income of small temples. This legislation would have helped the priests and their children, but the BJP ensured that the Governor blocked the new legislation. The BJP hasn’t done anything and they don’t have any moral right to ask for votes. Once we come to power, we will implement our tax system and the Mekedatu, Mahadayi, and Bhadra projects. The Centre announced Rs 5,300 crore for Upper Bhadra but hasn’t released anything.”

Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi was talking about mangalsutras, he said that the gold used for mangalsutras was Rs 24,000 per 10 grams during the Manmohan Singh government and has reached Rs 74,000 today.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala was also present.

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