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BJP-led Centre doing 'favouritism' while distributing flood-related funds to states: Cong

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Congress on Sunday alleged that the BJP government at the Centre was indulging in "favouritism" while distributing flood-related funds among states.

The Centre released Rs 3,000 crore as relief package to Kerala, which witnessed Rs 10,000 crore losses due to floods last year, Congress national spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill claimed.

"The BJP is indulging in politics of favouritism, partisanship even while distributing funds to flood-affected states," he alleged.

Uttar Pradesh, where there were no floods, was given Rs 200 crore last year as flood-related funds while Assam got just Rs 250 crore even though it is affected by floods year after year, the Congress leader said.

The northeastern state has demanded for more than Rs 3,000 crore as funds, he claimed.

"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 for last year's loss to Kerala," Shergill said, adding the prime minister should provide required assistance to the state and "shun politics of favouritism."

To help people affected by floods and displaced by it, the BJP-led central government should release "at least 50 per cent of the funds in proportion to what the saffron party had spent on the 2019 general elections," he said.

"The BJP is indulging in politics of favouritism, partisanship even while distributing funds to flood-affected states," he alleged.

Shergill also said as per the "2017 CAG Report on Schemes for Flood Control", in 17 selected states and Union territories (UTs), flood management projects could not be completed due to shortfall of funding from the Centre.

The Congress on Saturday had demanded that "the central government should declare that the current flood situation in the country as 'national disaster', 'national calamity' or 'calamity of severe nature'."

Shergill said currently nine states of the country - Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Punjab - are under the grip of heavy and consistent rainfall and are affected by floods.

Kerala and Karnataka are facing a grim situation as death toll due to floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains climbed to 83, while over four lakh people were evacuated in Maharashtra and 19 lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Gujarat.

Twelve people have died so far in Maharashtra where water level was starting to recede in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, the worst hit by the flood fury.

"This has swallowed hundreds of lives, causing grave damage to livestock, rendering numerous families homeless and causing irreparable loss," Shergill added.

The central government must immediately release funds as per demand of state governments, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 11 2019. 18:25 IST