CM and MP argue over fund allocation

CM and MP argue over fund allocation

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and MP Pratap Simha had an exchange of words during the formal programme for distribution of relief for natural calamity victims at Jambur, Somwarpet, on Friday.

Simha, in his speech, defended the Central government on the matter of fund allocation, which irked Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

The chief minister objected to the MP’s statement, but MLA M P Appacchu Ranjan tried to pacify Kumaraswamy.

Simha said that compensation had been distributed to 3,603 victims under the NDRF. “A sum of Rs one lakh has been disbursed to 840 people. This apart, 75% of the contribution to the state disaster relief fund has been by the Central government. The repair of the national highway too has been carried out entirely using the Central government funds,” he stated.

Speaking further, the MP said, “A major portion of the Rs 546 crore grant by the Centre was meant for Kodagu. In addition, Rs 500 crore was sanctioned to Kerala by the Centre towards urgent relief measures as five districts in Kerala were submerged in flood waters. No special package has been granted to Kerala.

He demanded that the chief minister reveal the funds allocated by the state government towards relief measures.

Urban Development and Housing Minister U T Khader, who expressed displeasure at the MP’s words, retorted that the state had not asked for alms from the Central government.

“The state government had only asked for the share of tax money paid by the people of Karnataka,” he insisted.

Simha said, “Some people have been asking what the Centre has done for Kodagu. I reply to the question in the presence of the chief minister, saying I visited Makkandoor on the day of the tragedy. I had also requested the defence minister for a chopper for rescue operations. The Central minister responded positively and the defence personnel landed in Kodagu the very next day.”

Kumaraswamy, in response, pointed out that the Central government had not provided the chopper service free of cost. “The state government had to pay the rent for its use. One should not mislead the people,” he said, taking a dig at Simha by saying it was the job of an MP to defend the Central government. The chief minister’s comment drew curtains on the argument.