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Congress asks EC to direct Centre to immediately release drought relief funds to Karnataka

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Congress asks EC to direct Centre to immediately release drought relief funds to Karnataka

Bengaluru, April 10 (Ajit Weekly News) Karnataka’s ruling Congress submitted a plea to the Election Commission on Tuesday, seeking direction to the Union government to immediately release the drought relief fund of Rs 4,663 crore and an additional fund of Rs 18,171 crore to the state.

The plea, signed by state Congress President and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, was submitted to the Election Commission through the state Chief Electoral Officer.

“The Congress wants to draw the attention of the Commission that out of 240 taluks, 224 taluks have been declared as drought-affected in Karnataka. In this, more than 48 lakh hectares of standing crops belonging to 34 lakh farmers failed, causing damages of more than Rs 37,000 crore. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a statement on April 6 at a press conference organised by the BJP in Bangalore, stating that the Union Government had written to the Election Commission on March 28 seeking permission to hold a meeting of the high power committee to clear several proposals for disaster relief, including drought relief for Karnataka,” it said.

The plea contended that the Union Finance Minister “categorically concedes delay in releasing drought relief by giving a reason that the Election Commission has not permitted to hold a meeting of the High-Power Committee” while noting that the people of the state have been suffering due to a lack of adequate relief funds to meet basic requirements viz drinking water, fodder, employment and crop loss etc.

“As a matter of right, the states are entitled to NDRF and other funds from the Union Government whenever a disaster occurs in the concerned state. Even the provisions of law and the Model Code of Conduct of the election 2024 will not come in the way of releasing drought relief funds to the state. The Union Government has wrongly contended that the Election Commission has to permit a meeting of the High-Power Committee to clear drought relief funds to Karnataka,” it said.

The Congress sought that to deal with the Centre’s excuse, the poll panel direct it to hold the necessary meeting to release the relief fund immediately so that the state can tackle the severe drought situation on a war footing, in the interest of the people of the state.

–Ajit Weekly News

mka/vd


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