Karnataka slams Centre for ‘bias’ in drought relief

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara on Sunday accused the Union government of “bias” in its financial aid granted to drought-hit states.

“Drought relief sought by Karnataka was Rs 2,434-crore. However, only Rs 949.49-crore has been approved, while Maharashtra has been given Rs 4,714.28-crore,” Parameshwara said in a tweet.

“The appalling favouritism by the Central government is something that must be condemned by all,” he added.

The state had pegged the losses incurred due to the drought situation in 100 sub-districts (taluks) in 24 of the state’s 30 districts at Rs 16,500-crore and sought a Central government relief of Rs 2,434-crore.

With 151 of its 355 taluks hit by drought, Maharashtra had sought Rs 7,962-crore financial aid from the Union government and was granted Rs 4,714.28-crore on January 29.

“The Union government must be free of bias and treat all states equally. We demand immediate response and measures towards rectifying this. Karnataka must be assisted in managing the drought crisis and helping the farmers,” Parameshwara alleged in another tweet.A

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy earlier also accused the Centre of “preferential” treatment to states in approving drought relief.

“We will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to place our demands for drought relief again,” Kumaraswamy earlier said.

Congress state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao termed it as the Centre’s “step-motherly” treatment towards Karnataka in his letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday.

On January 29, the Central government had approved funds of Rs 7,214-crore from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to six states and the Union Territory of Puducherry, which were affected by drought and floods.

Apart from the funds granted to Karnataka and Maharashtra for drought, Rs 900.40-crore was approved for Andhra Pradesh as drought relief, Rs 127.60-crore to Gujarat for drought, Rs 317.44-crore for Himachal Pradesh for floods and landslides, Rs 13.09-crore to Puducherry which faced cyclone and Rs 191.73-crore to Uttar Pradesh for floods.


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