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UPA not discriminating against K'taka for relief

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Aug 29: Union Minister of State for Planning M V Rajasekharan today attributed the delay in the release of Central funds to flood-ravaged Karnataka to strict procedural norms and clarified that no discrimination was being showed towards the state.

His clarification comes in the wake of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's recent charge that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre was showing step-motherly treatment towards Karnataka in release of relief funds.

Speaking at a media conference here, Mr Rajasekharan said ''This is the real cause for the delay and the UPA government is in no way discriminating against Karnataka in release of funds as alleged by Mr Kumaraswamy.'' Calling for a change in procedures to eliminate delay in providing relief to states at times of emergencies like floods and rains, he said the norms and yardstick adopted were drafted many years ago and it need to changed to provide immediate succour to people affected by natural calamities.

Denying that the Centre was favouring the Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, which were provided Rs 200 crore each towards immediate relief, he said those two states were quick in seeking relief, unlike Karnataka.

He said the Central team that toured flood-affected areas in five districts of the state would submit its report within a few days. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seized of the matter and had assured the MPs from the state that there would not be any ''step-motherly treatment,'' he added.


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