Surjewala questions silence of BJP MPs on delay in drought relief to Karnataka from Centre

Karnataka has submitted a memorandum for drought relief totalling to ₹ 18,177.44 crore, as 223 taluks out of 236 taluks in the State face drought

January 03, 2024 01:31 pm | Updated 05:22 pm IST - Bengaluru

As many as 223 out of 236 taluks are facing drought situation in Karnataka.

As many as 223 out of 236 taluks are facing drought situation in Karnataka. | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Urging the Centre to immediately release the drought relief sought by Karnataka government and other pending dues, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Wednesday, January 3, questioned the silence of BJP MPs on the matter.

“Karnataka has submitted a memorandum for drought relief totalling to ₹ 18,177.44 crore. The Centre also has to release ₹42,000 crore towards the share in GST and funds for the centrally-sponsored MGNREGA scheme. The Centre should release these amounts immediately,” Mr. Surjewala said in a statement released here. The Centre has not released the amount that is due to the State despite Chief Minister Siddaramaiah meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi while BJP parliamentarians have remained silent, he added.

Farmers in distress

Pointing to the drought situation in 223 out of 236 taluks in the State, he said drought assessment had shown that crops on 48.19 lakh hectares had been damaged while small and marginal farmers were in distress.

“Karnataka has appealed to the Centre to release ₹18,177.44 crore for drought relief as per the NDRF norms. This includes ₹4,663.12 crore as input subsidy, ₹12,577.86 crore as emergency relief, ₹566.78 crore to provide drinking water and ₹363.68 crore to protect cattle. However, the appeal has fallen on deaf ears. Mr. Siddaramaiah and Revenue Minister Krishna Byregowda have met Mr. Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar has met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Despite this, money has not been released. Is this how the Centre should behave?” he asked.

Mr. Surjewala further said, “We are unable to understand what the 26 BJP MPs and one BJP-supported member of the Parliament are doing? Instead of politicising issues, they should work for the welfare of the people. They should meet Mr. Modi and bring pressure on him to release the money due to the State.”

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