PM’s package a letdown: NC

"People had high expectations that Mr. Modi would made a significant announcement. But the package "doesn’t go far enough."

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:04 pm IST

Published - October 24, 2014 03:07 am IST - Srinagar

Ghulam Nabi Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad

The ruling National Conference and its coalition partner Congress have described the assistance of Rs. 745 crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for reconstruction of houses and hospitals damaged in the recent floods in the State as “big let down” and a “joke.”

Minutes after the Prime Minister left the Valley after a four-hour stay, political parties reacted to his announcement with the National Conference spokesman terming it a “big let down.” He said the people had high expectations that Mr. Modi would made a significant announcement. But the package announced “doesn’t go far enough.”

Former Chief Minister and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the announcement a “joke on the people of the State.”

In comparison to what the State government had recommended and the magnitude of the disaster, “this is just playing a joke on the people of the State, or rather this is insulting to all those who have suffered human and collateral losses.”

In Delhi, senior Congress leader P.C. Chacko described the package as “paltry” and one aimed at helping the BJP in the coming Assembly elections. “Modi is visiting the State now because it is going to the polls. The whole country knows that the PM’s visit is not to help Kashmir, but to help his party. Playing politics with a natural calamity-affected State is a very unfair,” Mr. Chacko said.

The BJP rejected the charges and said the visit would act as a balm on the wounds of the affected people. “The visit has no connection with votes. The PM is not BJP’s PM… he is the PM of the entire nation, of every citizen. He is the PM of everyone from Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he hoped that that there would be some clarity on whether this money was just one instalment of the full package.

“We had hoped that we would get some indication with regard to the acceptance of the package that the State government has asked for. But that was not forthcoming,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah said his every effort was focused on ensuring that no one was without shelter before the onset of winter and that was why the package submitted by the State assumed significance. The Omar Abdullah-led Cabinet had sought a Rs. 44,000 crore package for relief and rehabilitation.

PDP, the main Opposition party in Jammu and Kashmir, said this may not be the final package because the devastation was enormous. “We believe that this is only an instalment coming to the Kashmir Valley,” party spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar said.

CPI(M) leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami termed the package an “insult” and accused the Centre of playing with the sentiments of the people.

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