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Siddaramaiah Unveils Rs 4,409.81 Crore Bonanza For Poor

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Ressurecting the Congress rule in Karnataka after seven years, Siddaramaiah on 13 May' 2013 took over as Chief Minister, unveiling a Rs 4,409.81 crore bonanza for the poor, SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities in his maiden act.
 
The 64-year-old backward class leader was sworn in by Governor H R Bhardwaj amid fanfare with thousands of his supporters in attendance at the ceremony held in the jam- packed Kanteerava Stadium, instead of the portals of state legislature building (Vidhana Soudha), state secretariat, or Raj Bhavan.
 
Sporting white silk dhoti and shirt, Siddaramaiah, a self-declared atheist, was sworn in alone and he took the oath in the name of 'Truth'.
 
Thereafter, Siddaramaiah went into the action mode to implement the Congress poll manifesto, chairing his maiden Cabinet meeting with only him in attendance as the list of Ministers is yet to be finalised.
 
He announced that 30 kg of rice at Re one a month would be provided from June, benefitting 98.17 lakh people in the below poverty line category, that would cost th state exchequer Rs 460 crore extra annually.
 
The CM also decided to raise subsidy for milk producers from Rs two to Rs four per litre, costing Rs 496 crore per annum. Subsidy for the poor for building houses in rural and urban areas would be raised from Rs 75,000 now to Rs 1.2 lakh under various schemes.
 
He announced a one-time waiver of loans (arrears and interest) availed by SCs and STs (Rs 349 crore), OBCs (Rs 514.26 crore) and minorities (Rs 362 crore) by government-run corporations.
 
Siddaramaiah indicated that Ministers would be inducted by Friday even as he acknowledged that it's a difficult exercise. He would leave for New Delhi tomorrow or the day after to hold discussions with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in that regard. 
 
"It will be a balanced Cabinet", said Siddramaiah, noting that ministry-formation is always a difficult exercise, as ministerial aspirants intensified lobbying for berths and seniors for plum portfolios.
 
The Ministry would be formed by Thursday or Friday, the Chief Minister said.
 
For Siddaramaiah, who comes from the core anti-Congress "Janata Pariwar", becoming Chief Minister marks fulfilment of his ambition six years after his lateral entry into Congress.
 
Known as a man with no pretensions, Siddaramaiah was chosen the Congress Legislature Party leader on Saturday after he upstaged party warhorse Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge for the coveted post.
 
On his statement during election campaign that a special court would be set up to try corruption charges against the previous (BJP) government if his party came to power, he said said such matters have to be dealt within the legal framework.
 
Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief G Parameshwara had led the Congress battle against BJP in the May five assembly polls, which paid rich dividends as the party riding on anti- incumbency put up an impressive show winning 121 seats, eight more than the required strength in the 224-member house.

(PTI)