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Karnataka Revenue Minister Accuses Amit Shah Of Spreading Lies Over Delay In Financial Assistance For Drought Relief

Union Minister for Home and Cooperation Amit Shah came under fire from the ruling Congress government over his statement that memorandum on seeking financial assistance to tackle drought situation was submitted to the Central Government three months late by Karnataka government. Reacting to the statement by the Union Home Minister, Minister for Revenue Krishna Byre Gowda on Tuesday refuted the allegation of the Home Minister and stated that Karnataka government had declared drought on September 13 while a memorandum seeking financial assistance from National Disaster Response Force was submitted to the Central Government on September 22 in the previous year.

“The letters with me are official letters of the Government of India,” stated the Minister at a press conference in Bengaluru.

A proposal has been submitted to the office of Union Minister for Home Amit Shah on November 20 last year for release of financial assistance to Karnataka by the Union Agriculture Secretariat. The proposal has been gathering dust in Home Minister’s office for months, stated the Minister. Moreover, the National Disaster Management Authority had submitted a drought mitigation plan to the Central Government on January 16 this year but no meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) headed by Union Minister for Home Amit Shah has been organised till date to take it up.

Gowda said normally, a memorandum to the Central Government on drought situation is submitted at the end of October but Karnataka submitted its memorandum one and half month earlier to the Central Government, as a precautionary measure. But nothing substantial has happened so far.

Over the efforts put by the Karnataka government to get financial assistance from NDRF, Gowda said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written to the Union Minister for Agriculture on drought situation in Karnataka owing to deficit rainfall on September 23 and another letter to the Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.

Similarly, he said letters to Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were also written by the Chief Minister and later on Siddaramaiah met Narendra Modi in New Delhi on December 19 asking for financial assistance. A day later the Chief Minister met Amit Shah with the same demand. Again, Chief Minister reminded Narendra Modi on drought relief for Karnataka during his visit to Bengaluru on January 19 this year, but all the efforts have been in vain.

Gowda asked Amit Shah to come before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Vidhana Soudha and swear that had he not assured Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to form a High Level Committee on financial assistance to Karnataka.

The Revenue Minister accused Amit Shah of telling “lies” to the people of Karnataka which is nothing but “insult to an injury.” He questioned “What has Karnataka done to you?” The attitude of the BJP led Central Government is nothing but an “onslaught similar to the British rule over the country.”

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