State has handled flood situation well: Antony

Says norms for accepting foreign aid should be changed

Updated - August 23, 2018 08:24 am IST

Published - August 23, 2018 12:19 am IST - Alappuzha

Defence Minister A.K. Antony. File

Defence Minister A.K. Antony. File

There have been some minor issues in coordinating flood rescue operations, but overall the State government’s handling of the situation has been satisfactory, Congress leader and former Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said.

He was speaking to reporters here on Wednesday.

On Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala’s accusation that the government was responsible for the worst floods in the State, Mr. Antony said his opinion on the matter was reserved. “I am not rejecting or supporting his opinion,” he added.

Mr. Antony said the policy of not accepting foreign aid should be reversed. “If the rule was changed during the UPA tenure, the Union government should rewrite it. We should accept aid offers from Gulf countries. Otherwise, it will create cracks in our relationship with them. We should also accept technical help from countries such as Japan in the reconstruction of houses and bridges,” he said.

Mr. Antony urged the Centre to support the State in its rebuilding process.

Chandy writes to Modi

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing anguish at the Centre’s stance in receiving financial assistance offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help Kerala tackle the post-flood situation. “The Centre should seriously consider reviewing its policies related to foreign aid because the emphasis should be on reducing human suffering,” Mr. Chandy said in his letter.

Kanam’s stance

The special Assembly session scheduled for August 30 should pass a unanimous resolution demanding the Centre to amend the policy that prevents the State from accepting aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations for its rebuilding activities, CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran has said.

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