Kamal Nath threatens to sit on hunger strike in Delhi against denial of flood relief by Centre

State Law Minister PC Sharma says while Centre has approved Rs 1,813 crore as flood relief to Karnataka and Bihar, nothing has been allocated to MP despite widespread destruction during the monsoons

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

Kashif Kakvi

Miffed with the alleged bias of the Union Government against Madhya Pradesh in distribution of flood-relief fund, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has threatened to sit on a hunger strike in New Delhi along with his council of ministers.

They have claimed that while the Narendra Modi-led Union government has released flood-relief funds for Bihar and Karnataka, MP was left out despite CM Nath’s push.

The proposed protest was announced by state Energy Minister Priyavrat Singh on Thursday at a press conference, but he said that the date was yet to be finalised.

“Chief minister Kamal will lead his entire 28-member Cabinet in protest in the national capital. The next course of action will be determined by CM Nath,” he said.

Law Minister PC Sharma alleged that the Centre was discriminating against Madhya Pradesh and its 7.5 crore people because Congress was in power in the state. “More than 55 lakh farmers have been affected in unprecedented rain and floods, and 60 lakh hectares of crop destroyed, but the Union government is not releasing funds for MP,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Sharma said, “Chief Minister Kamal Nath visited New Delhi twice and personally handed over details of the devastation caused by the flood to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Centre has since released funds for flood relief in Karnataka and Bihar but is denying financial aid to Madhya Pradesh.”

Sharma said that 1 lakh houses were washed away in the unprecedented rainfall this monsoon and the damages add up to over Rs 16,000 crore. “On October 4, CM Nath went to New Delhi and handed over a memorandum for flood relief to the PM and sought Rs 9,000 as financial aid.

On October 21, he again went to Delhi and met Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking release of funds. The Centre has approved Rs 1,813 crore as flood relief to Karnataka and Bihar, but nothing has come to MP,” Sharma iterated.

Hitting out at the state BJP, he said: “MP has sent 28 BJP MPs to Lok Sabha, but none of them has raised their voice for financial aid for flood-affected farmers in the state.”

“It’s ironic that the state BJP is organising a ‘Kisan Aakrosh Andolan’ on November 4 to demand compensation for farmers affected by floods, Sharma remarked. “Instead, it should protest in New Delhi and ask the Union government to release funds for MP’s farmers,” he added.

Incidentally, in 2014, the then Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had staged a dharna in Delhi against the UPA government at the Centre, alleging that the Centre was apathetic to the plight of farmers hit by natural calamities in MP.

State BJP vice president Rameshwar Sharma criticised the move, saying, “The Kamal Nath government made announcements without thinking. Now, when there is public pressure to fulfil promises, they are pinning the blame on the Union government to misguide people. The state government is trying to hide its own inefficiency by levelling accusations against the Centre.

Did Kamal Nath form the government to lead demonstrations? No problem can be resolved through protests. If they have to demonstrate, then they should quit government.”

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