Cong to back TN Govt on Central aid for flood relief work

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Chennai, Dec 25 (UNI) Senior Congress Leader and Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G K Vasan today said his party would stand by the Tamil Nadu Government in securing full assistance from the Centre to undertake flood relief works.

Talking to reporters after distributing computers in a school here, Mr Vasan said it was the duty of the State and the Central Governments to provide relief to the people affected by floods to resume normal life.

''Whatever be the quantum of assistance sought by the Tamil Nadu Government, the Congress will stand by it and ensure the Centre extends necessary assistance to the State.

''As a Union Minister, I will also take up the matter with the Centre to ensure the state gets the required assistance,'' he added.

Property and standing crops in several districts of Tamil Nadu suffered heavy damage following recent rainfall and the State Government, quoting initial estimates, put the losses at Rs 1,500 crore.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said, after getting detailed reports from the districts, he would be writing a letter to the Centre seeking assistance for undertaking relief work.

To a question on the Congress forging a tie-up with the DMDK of Actor-turned-Politician Vijayakanth, Mr Vasan did not rule out the possibility and said ''wait and see.'' His remark assumes significance in the context of speculation the DMDK and the Congress could come together and forge an electoral tie-up.

The Congress High Command would take a decision on strengthening the alliance, he said, without elaborating.

Senior party leaders, including CLP Leader D Sudarsanam, Peter Alphonse, B Gnanadesikan and several functionaries were present at the function organised in connection with his birthday, which falls on December 28.

As the Minister would be in his home town on the day, his supporters chose to celebrate it today.

UNI

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