NRN sparks debate with anti-guarantee stance
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NRN sparks debate with anti-guarantee stance

December 3, 2023

Anti-constitutional, says Dr. Mahadevappa, Priyank Kharge says wait for one year, D.K. Shivakumar more diplomatic

Mysuru/Bengaluru: Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s (NRN)  recent stance against Congress Government freebies has ignited a contentious discussion, drawing opposition from Ministers in Karnataka.

Addressing the 26th edition of Bengaluru Tech Summit 2023, Murthy advocated for a new approach, stating that “nothing should be given free.” He proposed that individuals benefiting from Government services and subsidies should actively contribute to the improvement of society.

While championing capitalism as the primary solution for India’s economic advancement, Murthy clarified that he was not against providing essential services for free, particularly for the economically disadvantaged.

However, Murthy’s comments faced criticism from the Government, which had promised extensive freebies to the masses upon assuming power, even though the schemes remained partially implemented.

Social Welfare Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, also the Mysuru District Minister, expressed discontent with Murthy’s remarks, suggesting that they contradicted constitutional principles of social justice.

“Narayana Murthy, who has raised questions about the schemes, appears to be against the ideals of social justice and has made anti-Constitutional remarks. Why Narayana Murthy did not question Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the loans of a few industrialists were waived. The guarantee schemes were helping a total of 1.32 crore families move towards self-reliance,” he claimed.

 “If Narayana Murthy could have questioned Modi and asked for the money to be used for the country’s development and agriculture or given it to the poor to remove poverty, we could have complimented him and said he was in favour of the Constitution’s aspirations. Murthy’s stand against giving any benefits to the poor is highly condemnable. It is against the true spirit of the Indian Constitution”,  Mahadevappa said.

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In response to Murthy’s call for compassionate capitalism, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, IT & BT Minister Priyank Kharge argued that only a few companies truly embodied it, questioning the need for the Corporate Social Responsibility (Amendment) Act if compassionate capitalism was prevalent.

Kharge further countered Murthy’s views on the poverty index, defending Universal Basic Income and highlighting the success of Government guarantee schemes, such as the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, which garnered over one crore registrations. Noting that the Government had rolled out the guarantee scheme just a few months ago, Kharge said that those who criticise the schemes should wait at least one full financial cycle.

Kannada and Culture Minister Shivraj Tangadagi in Koppal dismissed opposition to guarantee schemes, emphasising their focus on aiding the poor, particularly daily wage labourers and the working poor.

Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar struck a more diplomatic tone, acknowledging Murthy’s suggestions for development while emphasizing the Government’s role in protecting the interests of farmers and the poor amid economic challenges, including rising fuel prices.

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