In a peculiar protest against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders came to the state Assembly wearing flowers behind their ears, alleging that the BJP government has cheated people and made them fools by not fulfilling promises from the previous budget and the 2018 manifesto.
Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai, who also holds the finance portfolio, is today presenting his second, and his government's last, budget before the upcoming state elections, scheduled for May this year.
Karnataka Congress calls it #KiviMeleHoova, meaning 'flower on the ear', which symbolically represents that someone has been fooled.
Siddaramaiah has repeatedly attacked Mr Bommai's government, claiming that the ruling party had given 600 promises in its election manifesto, but hardly 10 per cent of them were fulfilled.
The Chief Minister has said that the government will come out with an "action taken report" during the budget, regarding the fulfilment of the promises made by the ruling BJP, ahead of the 2018 assembly polls.
The budget, expected to be a 'please all', is likely to focus on weaker sections of the society in an attempt to galvanise BJP's vote bank, as the party faces strong anti incumbency.
Stating that this would be a "pro-people" budget, Mr Bommai had repeatedly in recent days asserted that it will focus on programmes that would give more support to poor, weaker sections, farmers, working classes, women and youth, among others.
It's a 'revenue-surplus' budget for 2023-24, Mr Bommai said.
"A record collection of Rs 6,085 crore has been made under GST this month. Karnataka continues to be the state with the highest growth rate of 30 per cent in the GST tax collection," Mr Bommai said last week.