Bengaluru Rural Congress MP DK Suresh, who is also the brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, on Thursday claimed that he would demand a separate country status for the south Indian states, alleging that the central government is not releasing funds to south Indian states.
His controversial remarks were made outside the Parliament in New Delhi at the time he was criticizing the Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Suresh said, “We are only demanding our rightful funds. The Centre is not properly giving the right share of GST and direct taxes to South Indian states.”
“The South Indian states are facing injustice. The money collected from southern states is being given to North Indian states. If this continues, we will be forced to demand a separate country,” he added.
“The centre is getting over Rs 4 lakh crore from us and what we are getting in return is negligible. We have to question this. If this is not rectified, all south states have to raise our voices demanding a separate nation,” Suresh added.
DK Suresh, according to the Free Press Journal, said, “If the grant discrimination is not correct, give a separate nation. If the discrimination in grants continues like this, it is inevitable that South Indians should raise their voice for a separate nation. We are not getting the share of our state. They are giving our money to North India. The center is doing injustice to the state in all matters.
The Hindi side is putting pressure on us. There is always injustice in the allocation of grants to the state.”
Reacting on the budget Suresh said that it is an election budget and nothing new in it. “This is the election budget. In the interim budget, only names have been changed. They have introduced some Sanskrit names and introduced schemes,” Suresh said.
Shivakumar defended the remarks made by Suresh, saying that he spoke of the “pain of South India.” He said that the entire country is one, but called for a balance.
Karnataka Minister Sharan Prakash Patil called the remarks a “fact”. He said, “It is a fact that because as per the 15th Finance Commission, Karnataka tax collection is more than Rs 4 lakh crore.
But Karnataka got very little. It is less than Rs 50,000 crore. Whatever was said and done, they could have compensated Karnataka. They are punishing the states which are doing well…”
Meanwhile, Congress leader P Chidambaram declined to comment on the statement and said that “it’s not the policy of the INC”.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tejasvi Surya said, “Dividing the country, based on religion, language and regionalities is nothing new for the Congress party. An MP from Congress in Karnataka has aspired for a separate southern India, which is again not a new argument. Most of the Congress party’s allies, including the DMK, have been speaking this separatist line for a long time.”
“He says that the devolution of funds from the central government to southern states, especially Karnataka, is partial. Karnataka is being discriminated and on this ground, he has made an argument for a separate nation. His comments reek of a Jinnah-style separatism. While this separatist tone is to be condemned, his statement is also bereft of logic and facts,” Surya added.
“Once upon a time, Congress was a party with leaders like Sardar Patel who worked to integrate India into one diverse yet unified nation. Today Rahul’s Congress is represented by people like DK Suresh – brother of out on bail and corruption accused Cong Dy CM DK Shivakumar. Their agenda is to divide people with North-South conflict and appeasement politics,” Chandrasekhar wrote on X.