Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa paints a rosy picture of the state's finances. But the numbers tell a dismal story. In the past two years, the government has borrowed over Rs 13,000 crore in the open market by selling securities. And over the years, the debt from external borrowings is approximately Rs 70,000 crore.To such attacks, Mr. Yeddyurappa's ultimate weapon is "this is what everybody does". Admittedly, anybody who knows the workings of state politics sees the truth in that stock response.
But the question is, if Mr. Yeddyurappa's party cannot do better than the others where it matters, such as in improving education in the Kannada medium (no, that does not merely mean distributing food or bicycles), ensuring jobs for Kannadigas (no, that does not merely mean getting investment), or in stopping the butchering of unborn Kannadiga lives, what right does it have to squander people's money?
Every new state government has the opportunity to redefine state politics and make it less nauseating, and more worthy of existence. However, every state government till now has thrown that opportunity into the dustbin, and so has Mr. Yeddyurappa's. Just like every other government till now, this government has done nothing more than trying to perpetuate itself using trinklets thrown to people who don't understand that they're being treated as beggars. This time, they're getting Javali. That's the difference.
* Javali (Kannada: ಜವಳಿ): loosely translated as 'cloth'.