Bengaluru: With elections to the state assembly looming, it's believed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah could present a please-all state Budget on Friday and also use it to play a game of one- upmanship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Union Budget, presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently.
Going by official sources, Mr Siddaramaiah is likely to focus on farmers, the urban middle class and government employees.
To counter Mr Modi's healthcare programme, he may announce a universal healthcare programme for all people no matter what their economic status and could also offer sops to the middle class, which is feeling neglected by the Union budget, sources reveal.
One of the proposals reportedly being considered is to give indirect compensation to the salaried class, which was expecting income tax exemption from the Modi government. Also, with Mr Siddaramaiah already announcing his decision to implement the pay commission report, it's believed state government employees are in for sops this Budget.
But uncertainty hangs over the Budget being passed as it will all depend on the outcome of the coming elections. If Mr Siddaramaiah is voted back to power, he could implement it. Otherwise, his Budget could meet the same fate as the one presented by former Chief Minister, Jagadish Shettar , in the run-up to the 2013 assembly poll that saw the BJP defeated and the Congress elected in its place.
Although Mr Shettar presented a 140-page budget and devoted over two- and- a- half hours to reading it, it did not win his party any brownie points at the hustings....