Drought funds: MP accuses Modi govt of biased treatment to K’taka

Accusing the Central government of biased treatment against non-BJP-ruled states, MP R Dhruvanarayan said on Sunday that the Central government was making ‘unnecessary delay’ in releasing the approved relief package for drought-hit Karnataka.

Speaking to media persons at ‘Jaladarshini’ on Vinobha Road in the city, the Lok Sabha member claimed that the Central government had a differential treatment for BJP-ruled and non-BJP-ruled states. “While it has been releasing enough funds for the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, Karnataka is getting less than half the funds required to deal with the drought,” he added.

For 2016-17, Dhruvanarayan added, the Karnataka government had sought Rs 4,702 crore to mitigate the losses from sub-par rains during the June-November Kharif season, but the sanctioned amount was less than half of the amount sought.

“Moreover, the amount is yet to be released. The State government is spending funds to provide drinking water and fodder in 139 taluks which are reeling under drought,” he said, appealing the Central government to release more funds immediately in the interest of the farmers.

Dhruvanarayan further said that the Central government’s approach towards Karnataka was no different last year. “In the year 2015-16, the amount of released drought-relief package for Kharif season was also less than half of the amount sought. Karnataka received Rs 1,542 as against Rs 3,400 required to tackle drought in the state, but Maharashtra received Rs 3,000 crore as drought-relief package. Karnataka got only Rs 606 crore against the demanded funds Rs 1,462 crore during Rabi season, while the released funds for Maharashtra was Rs 1,600 crore,” the MP said.

Dhruvanarayan said the Karnataka government had effectively distributed the drought-relief funds among the beneficiaries. “Of the released Rs 1,542 crore and Rs 606 crore, 30 lakh and 11 lakh farmers benefitted respectively. The amount had directly been credited to their accounts via RTGS. No other state has distributed funds as effectively as Karnataka did,” he said taking a dig at BJP leaders, claiming “the funds haven’t been utilised properly.”

He further said that the Central government hasn’t released a penny under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in two-and-half-years.

‘We need him’

Asked to comment on former chief minister and senior Congress leader SM Krishna deciding to quit Congress, MP Dhruvanarayan said that the party needed him and his guidance. “If Karnataka has made name as an IT-BT hub across the globe, it was because of him. I don’t know if he has resigned. Even if he has, I request him to take his resignation back,” he added.

MLA Vasu and Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd chairperson Venkatesh were present.


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