Come out clean on flood relief funds: Yeddyurappa to Congress
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Wednesday demanded that Congress give the people a true picture of how it had utilized over Rs.20 million it collected from the public last year for flood relief in north parts of the state.india Updated: Jun 09, 2010 21:46 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Wednesday demanded that Congress give the people a true picture of how it had utilized over Rs.20 million it collected from the public last year for flood relief in north parts of the state.
"People are losing faith in their representatives already and if it is proved that Congress has misused the flood relief fund, then they will not trust any political party," he said referring to allegations that the Congress state unit had utilized the money raised from the public for repairing its office and other non-flood related work.
"We are not asking the Congress to furnish us the accounts. But they should tell the people because Congressmen themselves are going round making these allegations," Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
Yeddyurappa was the target of attack from Congress and the opposition Janata Dal-Secular for inadequate relief operations in the flood hit areas and for not making public how his government had utilized the over Rs.6 billion (Rs.600 crore) collected from the public in Bangalore by going on a 'padayatra' (walk).
Over 170 people were killed and 500,000 lost their homes in the heavy rain and flash floods during Oct 30-Nov 3 last year in large parts of north Karnataka.
Yeddyurappa's government estimated the loss to be over Rs.160 billion (Rs.16,000 crore).
The magnitude of the devastation has prompted several corporate houses and religious institutions to come forward to build houses for the victims.
Yeddyurappa said he will submit in the assembly session beginning later this month details of the utilization of the money he had raised from public.
"On the first day of the session, I will provide these details," he said.
Karnataka Congress president R.V. Deshpande has denied any misuse of the relief fund but the party's working president D.K. Shivakumar has "apologized" to the people for the party's inability to utilize the entire amount for the intended purpose.
Of the over Rs.20 million the Congress raised from people, only a little over Rs.10 million actually went for relief, bank details show.
While Rs.7.5 million has been kept in a fixed deposit, the fund money has been drawn to pay for the repair of the party office in Bangalore, advertisements, an air ticket to Delhi and T-shirts for party volunteers deployed for flood relief work.
Deshpande has asked former Congress Lok Sabha member and former chief justice of Orissa High Court N.Y. Hanumanthappa to study the records "to find out if there were any lapses, and who were responsible for it".
He is expected to reveal his findings within the next seven days.