'Centre delaying fund release for flood-hit Karnataka'

H K Patil

Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka minister H K Patil on Friday accused the Modi government of delaying the release of funds for the flood-hit state and asked the Centre to act swiftly to protect lives of the affected people.

There has been a delay in sanctioning the funds as the ruling BJP government in the state had submitted a proposal apparently with some discrepancies, he said, adding the state has been asked to resend the correct proposal.

Accusing the BJP government both at the Centre and the state for not releasing the relief funds, Patil said the B S Yediyurappa-led government "cannot sit quiet saying it does not have the funds for relief work."

"If there is no fund, take loan and fulfil your commitment towards the people. Otherwise, step down...," he told reporters.

The situation is bad in the state as damage is estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh crore. Around 1,000 villages have to be rebuilt and one lakh acres of farm land has been affected, he said.

Patil further said, "It is a natural disaster. In this grave situation, the Centre's behaviour towards Karnataka is unacceptable. You are ready to give relief to Russia. You are ready to give relief to other states, why not to our state?"

The Centre should first release the funds and cross check later the estimate of damage submitted by the state, he said.

He also mentioned that Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited the flood-hit areas and had given assurances but nothing has been fulfilled yet.

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