K’taka: Congress to stage protest over ‘inadequate’ drought relief package, says DKS

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K’taka: Congress to stage protest over ‘inadequate’ drought relief package, says DKS

Bengaluru: Deputy Karnataka Chief Minister and state unit Congress president D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday said the party will stage a protest over the release of a meager drought relief amount by the Central government.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Shivakumar said the protest would be held on Sunday in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises of the Vidhana Soudha.

“The battle would continue to get the fair share of drought relief for the state… the legal battle will continue for sure. We are not begging. This is our right, we are asking for it. It is the responsibility of the Centre to release it. The struggle would continue before the people and the state,” Shivakumar said.

The Congress leader said that the state has suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore.

“The compensation sought was about Rs 18,000 crore. We had only asked for 50 per cent of the amount suffered as losses. What has now been released will suffice for nothing at all,” he said.

Shivakumar also condemned the statement of former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy who said that the Central government has released enough funds for drought relief.

“The relief package of Rs 3,454 crore has not reached the state yet and BJP leaders are celebrating. Kumaraswamy has become a betrayer to the land… he cannot say that the money released is enough. This is not about his property,” he stated.

The state government had declared 223 taluks as drought-hit on September 13, 2023.

Due to drought, crop loss was also reported on lakhs of acres of land across the state.

As per an estimate, the state suffered losses up to Rs 35,000 crore and as per the NDRF guidelines, the state had sought Rs 18,172 crore as relief.

Meanwhile, urging the Siddaramaiah-led state government to “stop doing politics over the release of drought relief”, former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said: “Stop politicising drought.”

He told reporters here that the state government has failed to follow certain rules to get the money and wasted time in politicising the issue.

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