DK Shivakumar urges EC to push Centre for release of drought relief funds to Karnataka | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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DK Shivakumar urges EC to push Centre for release of drought relief funds to Karnataka

PTI | | Posted by Yamini C S
Apr 10, 2024 08:12 AM IST

In a letter to the poll panel in the capacity of Congress state president, he pointed out that 224 out of 236 taluks are reeling under drought.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Congress state president D K Shivakumar has appealed to the Election Commission to direct the Union government to release 4,663 crore from National Disaster Response Fund and additional support fund of 18,171 crore to the state to meet the severe drought situation.

DK Shivakumar (PTI)
DK Shivakumar (PTI)

In a letter to the poll panel in the capacity of Congress state president, he pointed out that 224 out of 236 taluks are reeling under drought.

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He also cited the recent statement of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference in Bengaluru.

Referring to news reports quoting Sitharaman at the press conference, Shivakumar said she stated the Union government had written to the Election Commission on March 28 seeking permission to hold a meeting of the high-power committee to clear several proposals for disaster relief, including drought relief for Karnataka.

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"In her said statement she categorically conceded a delay in releasing drought relief by giving a reason that the Election Commission has not permitted to hold a meeting of the high-power committee. People of Karnataka have been suffering due to lack of adequate relief funds to meet basic requirements like drinking water, fodder, employment and crop loss, etc...," the DCM said.

As a matter of right, the states are entitled for NDRF and other funds from the Union government whenever disaster occurs in the states concerned, he underlined.

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According to Shivakumar, even the provisions of law and the model code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections will not come in the way of release of drought relief to the state.

He said the Union Government has wrongly contended that the Election Commission has to permit a meeting of the high-power committee to clear drought relief funds to Karnataka, which is not required in the eyes of law.

"In view of the above facts and circumstances, we appeal to your esteemed commission to direct the Union government to hold the meeting of the high-power committee immediately and to release 4,663 crore from NDRF and additional support fund of 18,171 crore to the state of Karnataka to meet the severe drought situation on a war-footing, in the interest of the people of Karnataka," he said.

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He also pointed out that Karnataka had made a representation to the Government of India four months ago to release 4,663 crore and additional 18,171 crore from the NDRF to provide crop loss to farmers and to take appropriate measures to provide basic facilities to the people and for cattle of drought-affected areas of Karnataka.

Shivakumar also highlighted the Karnataka government has approached the Supreme Court seeking drought relief funds for the state.

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