Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi has alleged that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was unnecessarily politicising the issue of drought relief to cover up failures of his government.
Speaking to presspersons at his residence in Hubballi on Saturday, Mr. Joshi said that the NDRF guidelines were not something that were issued by the present government. They were in place during the UPA government’s time too. In fact, after the NDA government came to power, several modifications were made and the quantum of relief was also increased, he said.
Referring to Chief Minister Siddaramaiha’s statement that there was no dearth of funds, Mr. Joshi sought to know why then no funds were being released for development works. “The guidelines on drought relief apply to entire country and Mr. Siddaramaiah also knows about it. He is unable to manage his finances because of the guarantee schemes and in order cover up the government’s mistakes, the Union government is being blamed,” he alleged.
The Union Minister also sought to know why the funds available under SDRF were not being used for relief works. “Why is Mr. Siddaramaiah reluctant to declare that the whole State is drought-hit. Because of guarantee schemes, there is no money with the government. Congress MLAs are behind them seeking funds and they are lying in the case of power shortage also. The Union government is ready to help in terms of drought relief. They should make a habit of complaining on everything,” he said.
Mediation not possible
On the Cauvery row he said, “As the CWMA (Cauvery Water Management Authority) is a quasi judicial authority, neither the Union government nor the Prime Minister can intervene to mediate on the issue. Because of the failure to present the State’s case properly, we have faced a debacle. When Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar met me at my residence, I spoke to him in detail. As the matter is before the court, I will not elaborate more on it,” he said.
However, Mr. Joshi sought to know why the leaders of INDIA alliance like Mallikarjun Kharge and others were reluctant to speak to DMK leaders, whom they welcomed into the alliance by felicitating them. “Daily DML leaders scold and criticise PM Narendra Modi and Siddaramiah does the same too. If we call them for talks, will they come? Why has Mr. Kharge not called them both and spoken to them. Their only work is to blame Modi,” he said.
To another query, Mr. Joshi said that there was no need for the NDA to change its nomenclature as it did not face any corruption charges. However, the UPA had the reason to change its name to INDIA as it faced several charges of corruption, he mocked. On JD(S) joining the NDA, he clarified that seat sharing had not been finalised yet.