BJP leaders court arrest over budgetary 'discrimination' protests

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) Karnataka BJP MPs and former ministers led by B S Yeddyurappa today courted arrest while protesting against ''injustice'' meted out to the state in the Railway and Union Budget.

The protests were held at Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street where Karnataka MPs, MLAs, MLCs and their supporters participated.

Those who attended the rally included former union minister Ananth Kumar and party MPs in both Houses of Parliament, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu, former ministers from the state Ramachandra Gowda, Jagadish Shettar, Govind Karajol, and members of the dissolved Karnataka Assembly and Legislative Council members.

The rallyists alleged that the allocations for the state were not sufficient while the Railways had denied projects to the state. They asked how the BJP had provided farm loans at four per cent interest in an effort to help the farmers when Mr Yeddyurappa was the Finance Minister.

The loan waiver announced by P Chidambaram was too inadequate and insufficient for the farmers who were on the verge of commiting suicides.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad promised the BJP MPs a fair deal for Karnataka, he had done nothing in the Railway Budget although the state yielded huge amounts of revenues from passenger, containers and mineral traffic. The allocations were allowed to be cornered by powerful states, the leaders alleged.

Leader of the Opposition L K Advani addressing the rally highlighted how the NDA when it was in power did not discriminate against the people when it came to providing development and progress. This is not the case with the UPA, he said.

Mr Yeddyruppa and other leaders courted arrest while attempting to move towards Parliament after Mr Advani's address.

UNI MCN Mir AS1706

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