Siddaramaiah hits back at PM Modi over ‘tech city into tanker city’ remark


PTI, Apr 22, 2024, 8:03 AM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his ‘tech city to tanker city’ remark and blamed the previous governments of BJP and its ally JD(S) for the current water crisis in Bengaluru.

He even reminded Modi that former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and some of his cabinet colleagues were jailed due to denotification and land grab cases during the BJP rule from 2008 to 2013.

In a statement, the CM underlined that the BJP government allegedly collected ‘40 per cent commission’ from contractors for executing projects.

People still remember how the BJP government, until just a year ago, drove investors and corporate companies away from Bengaluru due to BJP’s alleged 40 per cent commission demand and a lack of willingness to improve infrastructure, Siddaramaiah claimed.

He charged that BJP’s failures reportedly prompted companies like Foxxconn, Ola and others to leave Bengaluru.

“Mr. Narendra Modi, don’t forget that it was your government that gave ‘Chombu’ when asked to approve the Mekedatu Project, which could have provided Bengaluru with more drinking water, and also denied additional water from the Cauvery during distress situations.”

The successive Karnataka government had been pushing for a balancing reservoir across the Cauvery river at Mekedatu near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district, which the neighbouring Tamil Nadu government has opposed.

“It was not the Congress party that turned the Tech City into a ‘Tanker City’. We led the city to become the Silicon Valley of India, while unfortunately the BJP and JD(S) governments have led this Tech City into dryness since 2006,” he said.

Noting that the people of Karnataka are well aware of the party that exploited tankers in Bengaluru for personal and monetary gains, Siddaramaiah said former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and his successors are certainly aware of this.

In a rush to benefit from land grabs and a series of denotifications, the BJP-JD(S) coalition government merged 110 villages into the Bangalore Metropolitan Area without adequate planning for water and sanitation, he explained.

“We also know how many went to jail due to denotification and land grab issues during 2008-13,” Siddaramaiah said pointing to Yediyurappa and his cabinet colleagues spending time in jail on corruption charges.

Modi had a chance to approve the Mekedatu project, “but sadly, you will not get another chance from the people of Bengaluru,” he quipped.

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