|Cong refutes BJP charge on State flood relief|
GUWAHATI, July 5 – War or words between political parties on the issue of floods continued as the State Government today reacted to the allegations levelled against the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh by BJP leader Bijoya Chakraborty.
An official release said here today that the grants given to Assam by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government were much more than the amounts given to the State during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government headed by the BJP.
The release, while alleging that the BJP leader was trying to mislead the people, said that during the period from 1998-99 to 2003-04, during the tenure of the NDA Govt, Assam received only Rs 472.95 crore as calamity relief, while, during the period of the UPA Government from 2004-05, the State received Rs 2120.34 crore.
The official release pointed out that though the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Assam following the devastating floods in 1998, the NDA Government provided a grant of only Rs 59.90 crore. However, in 2004, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh provided additional grant of Rs 211.55 crore after assessing the flood situation in the State. In 2008, the then Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited Assam during floods and the Centre provided additional grant of Rs 300 crore.
The release said that after visiting the State on July 2 along with the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister declared an ad hoc grant of Rs 500 crore and promised to send further assistance after assessment of the damages caused by floods. The Prime Minister also assured to take schemes for controlling floods, the release added.
The State Government also assured that relief and rehabilitation of the affected people would continue.
It may be mentioned here that Chakraborty recently alleged that the Central Government headed by Dr Singh failed to provide adequate help to the State at the time of need.