Opposition walks out from UP assembly over Bundelkhand issue

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Lucknow, Feb 20 (UNI) Main opposition Samajwadi Party, BJP and Congress today staged a walk out in the Uttar Pradesh assembly after the state government denied any starvation death in the drought-hit Bundelkhand region.

It, however, accepted that the situation has been grave there.

The state government also refused to concede the opposition's demand to declare national calamity in Bundelkhand and said, adequate relief measures were taken in the region's districts, where the drought conditions prevailed for last many years.

State Revenue Minister Phagu Chauhan told the House that the crop loss in the region was to the tune of Rs 1400 crore and the state government had provided more than Rs 400 crore for various relief measures for farmers. He also informed that the Government Order (GO) for waiver of interest of the farmers' loan had been issued, along with several other steps.

He categorically denied that any starvation death had taken place in the region.

Intervening in a debate that had arisen out from a question asked during the question hour, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma said the drought conditions in Bundelkhand were prevailing since last three and a half years but a meagre amount of Rs 20 crore had been spent for relief measures by the previous SP government in the state.

He said the state government had already submitted to the Centre a proposal of Rs 7016 crore package for the region. The government also declined the demand of a white paper on the sitution.

Dissatisfied over the government's reply, the SP, BJP and Congress members staged a walk out, but after few SP members came into the well of the House and created noisy scenes.

UNI MB/SB GL AS1540

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