Karnataka

In his speech, Yediyurappa asks Modi to release additional flood relief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with seers during his visit to Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with seers during his visit to Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The five-minute-long speech is being seen as an attempt by the Chief Minister to assert himself within the party by publicly putting even the Prime Minister on the mat.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who has drawn flak for the Centre releasing “inadequate” flood relief to the State, on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for additional relief during his speech at a farmers’ convention in Tumakuru.

The Chief Minister even said, “I have brought this to the notice of the Prime Minister three or four times, but till now no additional relief has been sanctioned. I request him with folded hands to release it soon,” in Kannada. The Prime Minister, who spoke later at the event, however, did not respond to the Chief Minister’s request in his speech.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the State had witnessed losses to the tune of over ₹30,000 crore because of floods.

‘Stress on irrigation’

Addressing farmers at one of his main support bases of Tumakuru, the Lingayat strongman advised the Prime Minister that his dream of doubling farmers’ income by 2023 could become a reality only if he focused on “providing scientific price to farm produce, bringing water to farms through irrigation, and by interlinking rivers”.

Mr. Yediyurappa’s remarks made at a programme to release the fourth instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana, a farm subsidy cash transfer scheme of the Union government, have raised eyebrows.

Stressing on the key role of irrigation schemes in farmers’ welfare, he sought a special package of ₹50,000 crore for completion of long-pending projects in Karnataka.

The five-minute-long speech is being seen as an attempt by the Chief Minister to assert himself within the party by publicly putting even the Prime Minister on the mat. This comes in the wake of the BJP suffering defeats in multiple States and the party’s victory in the recent bypolls in the State under Mr. Yediyurappa’s leadership, both of which have only strengthened the Chief Minister, sources in the party said. “We are curious as to how the party high command will now deal with this public assertion in front of the Prime Minister,” a senior party leader said.

The Chief Minister has been reportedly “deeply unhappy” over the delay in the flood relief by the Union government and also the “inadequate” amount released. The Opposition has attacked him over lack of adequate Central relief, which was interpreted as the BJP central leadership’s reported unhappiness with him. The Chief Minister had then said he was doing a “tightrope walk”.

After a delay of over two months, the Centre released ₹1,200 crore as flood relief in October 2019.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 1:52:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/in-his-speech-yediyurappa-asks-modi-to-release-additional-flood-relief/article30464212.ece

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