Congress: After LS polls phase II 'washout', desperate PM 'fear mongering'

Jairam Ramesh claimed the BJP MPs from Karnataka have displayed lack of commitment to serving their constituents

Jairam Ramesh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on 25 April (photo: PTI)
Jairam Ramesh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on 25 April (photo: PTI)


The Congress on Sunday, 28 April, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is indulging in "fear mongering" as he is "desperate" after facing a "washout" in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed questions for the prime minister ahead of his rallies in Karnataka.

"After the Phase II washout, a desperate PM is on a spree of Karnataka rallies today. Instead of lying and fear mongering, these are the questions he should answer," Ramesh said, listing his posers.

"Why have BJP MPs performed so poorly as the people's representatives? After a 7-month delay, why has the Centre released less than 20% of drought relief funds? Why is the Centre holding up the Upper Bhadra and Mahadayi projects?" the Congress leader said on X.

Elaborating on what he said were "jumla details", Ramesh asked where have BJP MPs been while the Modi government has been "unleashing its vengeance" on Karnataka.

Citing the latest data from the Parliamentary Research Service (PRS), Ramesh claimed that the BJP MPs from Karnataka have shown a blatant disregard for their responsibilities, and displayed lack of commitment to serving their constituents.

"While the national average attendance in Parliament was 79%, the average of the 28 Karnataka MPs was even lower at 71%. The review revealed that 26 of these MPs never raised Karnataka's concerns - the release of MGNREGA funds, drought and flood relief assistance, and the Centre's denial of additional allocations of rice for PDS," he said.

Analysing the transcripts of all debates, PRS found that very few MPs even tried to initiate policies or programmes to address their constituencies' issues, Ramesh said.

"Three MPs did not ask a single question in five years, and five MPs did not participate in a single debate. While most MPs were criticised for neglecting the state, seven MPs only focused on the RSS-BJP's unconstitutional agendas in their constituencies," he alleged.

"Perhaps the most damning finding was that 14 of the 28 were directly or indirectly involved in abetting communal violence in their localities. Will PM Modi apologise for foisting these ineffectual MPs on the people of Karnataka? Or was this his design all along to elect non-performing BJP MPs so that he can ignore the voice of Karnataka?" he said.

Ramesh also said that it has been more than seven months since the Karnataka government sought more than Rs 18,000 crore of relief from the Centre as per disaster relief rules.

Karnataka is reeling under an acute drought situation, with 223 out of 236 talukas facing drought conditions and 196 taluks being categorised as severely hit, he noted.

As early as September 2023, the Karnataka government had approached the Modi government to release funds of Rs 18,171 crore for drought relief, he said.

"The rules of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, state that the Centre must take a final decision on the release of funds within one month of receiving the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) report. For Karnataka, this period expired in December 2023. Last month, the finance minister made the excuse that her hands are tied since the Model Code of Conduct came into force," he said.

"After being forced to the Supreme Court by the Karnataka government, the Centre has finally sanctioned funds but only a mere Rs 3,498 crore. This is less than 20% of the total amount requested," he said.

Why is PM Modi so "indifferent" to the people of Karnataka, Ramesh asked.

"In last year's Union Budget, the Modi government had proudly announced a Rs 5,300 crore grant for the Upper Bhadra Project. More than a year later, state Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda has revealed that not a 'single paisa' of this grant has been released," Ramesh said.

During his assembly election campaign, PM Modi had also claimed to resolve long-standing issues with the Mahadayi-Kalasa Banduri Nala Project but earlier this year, clearance for the project has been deferred by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, he said.

"These projects are crucial to expanding drinking water and irrigation access in a state that has been reeling under a severe drought. Why has the Modi government neglected these essential infrastructure projects? What vendetta does the PM have against the people of Karnataka?" Ramesh said and asked the prime minister to break his "silence" on these issues.

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