Politics with life of people

By Sanchit on Thursday, October 08, 2009

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Karnataka flood BANGALORE: The BJP-led Karnataka government is annoyed that though the state bore the brunt of the rain fury, it got only a paltry sum of Rs 52.26 crore as central aid on Wednesday. This is in stark contrast to the Rs 156.84 crore released for Andhra Pradesh, a state ruled by the Congress.

A vexed chief minister B S Yeddyurappa called up President Pratibha Patil and sought her intervention in impressing upon the Centre to immediately release adequate funds. A week after the state submitted a memorandum seeking Rs 10,000 crore financial assistance for rehabilitation work in flood-hit districts of North Karnataka, the Centre released this measly sum from the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF).

Floods in Karnataka affected about 15 lakh people involving 15 districts and about 5 lakh people in five districts of Andhra Pradesh. While the toll in Karnataka has already crossed the 200 mark, it’s less than 60 in Andhra. The total loss due to floods is pegged at Rs 16,500 crore while Andhra’s estimates are Rs 12,500 crore. The Centre is yet to depute a team to assess the damage.

All eyes are now on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he is expected to visit the flood-ravaged areas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on Friday and make some big announcements.

It’s not the first time the central relief is perceived as step-motherly. Just about two months ago Karnataka sought Rs 2,000 crore for drought relief, but got only Rs 150 crore. The opposition and ruling BJP promptly started a blame game. While the BJP accused the UPA government at the Centre of giving step-motherly treatment to BJP-ruled Karnataka, opposition members alleged that the state government had failed to spend funds available under the CRF.

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