BJP squirms as Centre cold to Kodava pain

Bengaluru: Leaders of the state unit of BJP are squirming in discomfort as they have been rendered defenceless by an indifferent attitude of top leaders of the Union government with regard to relief and rehabilitation of victims of recent floods in Kodagu.

These leaders are embarrassed as the Union government has neither released funds to aid reconstruction of the devastated district nor dispatched a team of officers to assess the damage wrought by floods though Kodagu constitutes part of the Lok Sabha constituency represented by its leader Mr Pratap Simha.

They are at loss about the cold response from leaders in New Delhi though repeated appeals were sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and Union home minister Rajnath Singh for release of funds to provide succor to thousands rendered homeless by floods and landslides. The pleas of state unit leader president B. S. Yeddyurappa, and Union ministers H N Anant Kumar and and D.V. Sadananda Gowda to Mr Modi have not yielded any results.

In fact, the Union government’s callous attitude has rendered local leaders’ defenceless and the target of ire of other political parties and local residents. On Friday, law and parliamentary affairs minister Krishna Byregowda came down heavily on the Centre and state BJP leaders. 

“Both Central and state unit leaders of BJP have no moral right to speak on relief work in Kodagu. Not a single penny has been released by the Centre for relief work. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Kodagu to oversee relief work of defence team, but no Central team visited the district so for. In spite of us submitting a memorandum to the Union Home Minister, the Centre has not responded,” alleged Mr Krshna Byre Gowda.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, BJP MLA Appachu Ranjan, said: “We once again request the PM and Union home minister to release funds for taking up relief work. Along with Union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar, BJP MLAs and MLC of Kodagu will meet the PM on Wednesday, and request him to send officers to Kodagu.” 

Mr. Ranjan blamed the state government for slow relief work in the district. “The Centre has released Rs 85 crores under NDRF and state has released only Rs. 30 crores. According to our estimation, the total loss of including loss of plantation around six to seven thousand crores. Rehabilitation work has to be completed on a war footing,” he added.

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