Assam Congress MP refuses to pay for Bihar flood

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Guwahati, Sep 9 (UNI) Assam Congress MP Kirip Chaliha today refused to pay any money for flood relief in Bihar.

Addressing a press conference here, MP from Guwahati said he would rather urge both Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to issue an appeal to help Assam flood victims too.

''The Assam MPs are unhappy over the fact that Mr Chatterjee has issued an appeal only for Bihar when similar destruction has taken place in Assam too,'' he said.

Mr Chaliha said he would not respond to the appeal of the Speaker of donating Rs 25 lakh by each MP from the local area development fund for the flood victims in Bihar.

Cutting across party lines the Congress, BJP and AGP had refused to respond to the Speaker's appeal unless the collected fund was divided between Assam and Bihar.

''Assam is also under water like Bihar and I do not think my inner sense will respond to the Speaker's call that Rs 25 lakh from the MP local area development fund should be handed over to Bihar for relief and rehabilitation when there are so many things to be done in Assam,'' said Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MP Arun Kumar Sarma, whose constituency is the most flood prone of the region.

''When my own backyard is under water why should we help others? If the collected money is divided equally between Bihar and Assam then we can participate,'' pointed out BJP MP Rajen Gohain.

The ruling Congress too has joined the growing chorus.

Mr Chaliha said his constituency would not appreciate if ''I start helping in Bihar when I am not being able to feed by own people. I shall not give money (for Bihar),'' he iterated.

What has irked people here is that Assam based organisations like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) have contributed more to Bihar.

AGP MP Sarbananda Sonowal had already dashed off a letter to the Vice-President as well as the Lok Sabha Speaker on the same issue urging them to intervene on behalf of Assam.

UNI MT PL KK ND1455

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