Bengaluru: In an embarrassment for the Congress government in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was forced to present the state’s annual budget for 2016-17 under the torchlight of a mobile phone after power in the assembly snapped twice while the CM was speaking.
Critics have termed the power failure in the VIdhan Soudha during the presentation of the Budget by the CM as an indication of the state of affairs in Karnataka which has been devoid of the level of attention required for public infrastructure, particularly on the power scenario.
On the other hand, the embarrassment for the Congress government and CM Siddaramaiah was no less. "What's happening here?" the CM could be heard murmuring even as he tried to put forth a brave face.
His aides, meanwhile, helped him to continue the speech by turning on the torch of a mobile phone. An unfazed CM then continued reading out the remaining part of the Budget proposals.
Karnataka is facing one of the worst power and water supply crises in the last two decades and critics allege that the government has done little to improve the situation.
In his budget speech, the CM attributed the negative growth to the decline in the growth of agricultural sector last year. A record number of farmers (over 1,000) committed suicide last year.
Siddaramaiah announced the government's plans to disburse Rs 11,000 crore as agricultural loan to over 2.3 million farmers during the next fiscal.