Why do we not deserve a response?: K’taka CM on aid to Kenya, Papua New Guinea

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah takes to social media to display clippings of two reports about India dispensing aid to other nations

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah's government has sought Rs 18,171 crore as drought relief (photo: IANS)
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah's government has sought Rs 18,171 crore as drought relief (photo: IANS)


Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi over not responding to the requests for aid for the state's farmers reeling under drought.

Taking to social media, he attached clippings of two reports about India announcing a $250 million line of credit for Kenya for modernisation of its agricultural sector, and $1 million in immediate assistance to Papua New Guinea in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

In his post, Siddaramaiah stated, “We don't have any opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi extending help to other countries; he is merely upholding a legacy of India's aid diplomacy and soft power diplomacy, a practice that dates back to the pre-independence era and has continued ever since. Our question, however, is this: Why does Modi not exhibit the same level of concern for our farmers, who have suffered crop losses due to drought?”

"Why do Kannadigas not deserve a response from the Union BJP government to their letter seeking compensation? This silence raises concerns about the equal treatment of all states and their citizens in the face of adversity," he said.

Given that the Union government has not yet convened a preliminary meeting to provide relief to the farmers of the state, the state government has taken the emergency measure of releasing crop relief funds of up to Rs 2,000 each to eligible farmers in the first phase, Siddaramaiah said.

Even though three ministers from the state went to Delhi, no positive response was obtained. A letter has been written to the Centre requesting financial assistance of Rs 18,171 crore for relief. Even if the Centre returns our share of the tax money, it would help alleviate the suffering of our farmers, he stated.

"There has been crop loss in an area of 48.19 lakh hectares. We had asked the Centre for a crop loss compensation of Rs 4,663 crore. We have also appealed to Central ministers. I had written a letter requesting a meeting with the Union ministers of agriculture and housing, but they have not given us time yet," Siddaramaiah said.

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