Karnataka

Congress rally on flood aid sends out political message ahead of bypolls

The Congress holding a rally against the State and Union governments for the delay in taking up flood-relief works and releasing compensation, in Belagavi on Tuesday.

The Congress holding a rally against the State and Union governments for the delay in taking up flood-relief works and releasing compensation, in Belagavi on Tuesday.  

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Belagavi, the worst-hit district, has three seats held by disqualified MLAs

The Congress leaders organised a mammoth rally against the delay in release of funds by the Centre and slow pace of flood-relief works by the State government, here on Tuesday.

Coming weeks before the crucial bypolls to 15 Assembly segments, the party also virtually kick-started its campaign. The border district of Belagavi, worst hit during floods, has three seats held by the disqualified MLAs.

The leaders marched from the party office near Sangolli Rayanna Circle to the Rani Channamma Circle and the Deputy Commissioner’s office, shouting slogans against the government and then submitting a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah strongly condemned the “insensitive attitude” of the Union government towards flood-hit north Karnataka. “The floods have devastated life in 25 districts. Over eight lakh families have been affected. They have not got proper compensation till now,” he said adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has enough time to tour foreign countries, but none to visit Karnataka. “Mr. Modi, you go to Houston to campaign for Donald Trump, are you not ashamed of violating traditions of not interfering in elections of other countries?” he asked. “Union Ministers have come and gone, but we are yet to get any assistance. Even after 50 days of the unprecedented floods, there is no effort from the State government to take up relief activities properly,” he said, calling B.S. Yediyurappa the “weakest Chief Minister in the history of Karnataka.” Mr. Siddharamaiah said he pitied the Chief Minister.

The party’s working president Eshwar Khandre said the BJP was only interested in playing power politics. “They engaged in horse-trading to bring down the coalition government and now they are busy in retaining their seats,” he said. Former Minister M.B. Patil urged the Union government to declare the floods as a national calamity.

Siddaramaiah hits out at Tejasvi

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told journalists that BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, who had said that there was no need to approach the Centre for flood-relief assistance, was “immature”. He needs to study the Constitution before making statements about various issues, he said.

“According to the Constitution, the Union government is obligated to pay compensation in case of natural calamities. This is distinct from funds allocated under the 14th Finance Commission, which rightfully belong to the States to be spent on administration, schemes and programmes. They are not for calamity relief. Mr. Surya does not seem to understand such things,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 11:36:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cong-rally-on-flood-aid-sends-out-political-message-ahead-of-bypolls/article29502492.ece

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