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Congress accuses Centre of ‘insensitivity’ over floods
The Congress on Sunday accused the BJP-led NDA government of displaying “insensitivity” towards flood victims in the country, and said that the Centre was neither releasing required funds to the affected states nor declaring the situation as a ‘national disaster’.
Expressing solidarity with the inhabitants of flood-affected areas and thanking various rescue teams including of the Army, Navy, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the party also hit out at the government for indulging in “photo-opism” rather than displaying “activism” in combating flood fury.
Asserting that nine states in India have come under the grip of floods caused by heavy rains, a statement issued by All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the Central government is “failing to realize the gravity of the flood fury” in India despite the extensive loss of lives and displacement.
“… (the Centre) is neither releasing the required funds to the flood-impacted states nor declaring floods as national disaster or national calamity or calamity of severe nature,” said the statement.
“The Central government should stop indulging in ‘photo-opism’ and display ‘activism’ in assisting flood-impacted states and to prevent further loss. Unfortunately, the Central government has displayed insensitive, lackadaisical, partisan behaviour towards flood fury in India,” it said.
The incessant rains have wreaked havoc in at least nine states, including Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, killing over 300 people and rendering lakhs displaced.
The Congress also requested the government to immediately release funds as per demand of specific state governments as well as to release a white paper on flood preparedness or flood management projects and rehabilitation schemes for displaced people.
The party blamed the Centre for non-release of funds towards flood management projects.
“As per RTI, Assam has not received a single rupee from the Central government’s National Disaster Response Fund (source: Lok Sabha reply, July 23, 2019). As per CAG, there is a 60 per cent shortfall in funds from the Central government towards flood management projects.”
The party alleged that the BJP-led Maharashtra government rather than providing passionate assistance is attaching “insensitive, senseless” conditions for help. “The chief minister is busy in self-promotion by putting his pictures on food packages rather than ensuring required assistance.”
The central government, the Congress said, is meting out “step-motherly” treatment to Kerala. “After having witnessed an estimated Rs 10,000 crore loss due to floods last year, the Central government has merely released Rs 3,000 crore as relief package from last year’s loss.”
“The prime minister should provide required assistance to Kerala in the ongoing crisis and shun politics of favouritism.”
It further said that Home Minister Amit Shah rather than conducting “aerial surveys” should adhere to immediate demand of Rs 3,000 crore from Karnataka government.