THE BJP and Congress staged dharnas at New Delhi and Bhopal on Wednesday to seek more funds for the flood relief from the Centre and the State Government respectively.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Personnel Suresh Pachauri informed that the Centre has allocated over Rs 261 crore cash, eight lakh litres kerosene and 5,000 tonnes of foodgrains to Madhya Pradesh for flood relief following a representation made by MPs from the State to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
Pachauri said the Home Ministry has assured Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee that it will consider further aid to the State under the Calamity Relief Fund.
The BJP MPs and MLAs from Madhya Pradesh staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the Centre’s alleged discriminatory attitude in giving relief package for the floods and heavy rains-affected people.
After the dharna, a delegation of the MPs and MLAs called on Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and submitted a memorandum highlighting massive damage to the properties and loss of life due to floods and heavy rains.
The Home Minister immediately ordered providing of 5000-tonnes rice, 3000-tonnes wheat and 8-lakh-litre kerosene to the State. He also assured that the Centre would ensure release of amount from Central Relief Fund (CRF) for the last two years to the State and also funds from national disaster relief fund after studying the report of the study team which surveyed Madhya Pradesh’s flood situation.
The MPs and MLAs led by State BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia assembled at Jantar Mantar. They said 143 people had died and 14,500 houses collapsed in the floods. The number of partially damaged houses was 97061.
Those who addressed the gathering included Satyanarayan Jatia, Sushma Swaraj, Kailash Joshi, Vikram Verma, Sumitra Mahajan, Nandkumar Singh Chouhan, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Laxman Gaur.
The delegation which met the Home Minister demanded Rs 1000 crore as a part of relief package to the State immediately. Reacting to the BJP’s dharna at New Delhi, the State Congress staged a dharna at Roshanpura Square here blaming the State Government for having miserably failed in alleviating the sufferings of flood-hit population in MP.
The dharna attended by State Congress chief Subhash Yadav, leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi and former minister Ajay Singh among others, highlighted the alleged failure of the Government machinery to carry out proper survey of flood-affected population, discrimination on party lines in providing relief to affected people, alleged apathy of the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues towards flood-affected people and ‘massive corruption’ in disbursement of relief amount.
The protestors ‘condemned’ the ‘political gimmick’ of the BJP in holding a dharna at Delhi while the State Government has Rs 261 crore at its disposal for calamity relief.
“The BJP is seeking to politicise the issue of flood-relief to distract public attention from its failure to provide succor to the flood-affected people of 25 districts of the State,” they said.
They pointed out that the Centre immediately provided a sum of Rs 98 crore towards relief as soon as floods hit some parts of the State and a Central team also visited the State recently for assessment of damaged caused by floods.
But before the team could submit its report, the State BJP decided to organise the dharna by its MPs and MLAs at Delhi to demand more funds for flood relief, they said.
A memorandum, addressed to the Chief Minister was handed over to district administration after the dharna.