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September 2018
6:57 PM IST
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Rahul flays Centre for not providing adequate aid to flood-hit Kerala
 
Kochi, Aug 29 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi today accused the Centre of not providing adequate assistance to flood-hit Kerala, saying he was "sad" about the BJP-led NDA government's approach on the issue.

Gandhi also said he was in favour of accepting foreign aid from countries like the UAE for rebuilding the flood-ravaged southern state.

"Central government support is the right of the flood-affected people of Kerala.. but I am sad that the Centre hasn't given as much aid to the state," Gandhi told reporters here.

When asked about the central government's stand of refusing aid offer from foreign nations, he said, "If somebody is giving unconditional money to reduce the pain of the people of Kerala, I myself will take it".

He said it was his take on the matter.

Gandhi, who was on a two-day visit to flood affected regions of Kerala, said he was not here for "politicising the situation."

He said he had spoken to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday on the flood situation in the state.

Gandhi said the sense he had got from the relief camps he visited in various districts in the state yesterday was that the assistance promised by the state government should be delivered speedily.

"I think it is very important that the government gives the sense to the people that it is going to build houses, give a sense of potential timeline for doing that, I think there is need for counselling.

"I also think that the compensation that has been promised, Rs 10,000 should be given speedily. There is a feeling in the camps that that has not been done yet," he said.

Noting that Kerala has suffered a "tremendous tragedy," the Congress president said his role was to be with the people of the state.

Gandhi cancelled his visit to rain-hit Wayanad in view of bad weather and wound up his two-day tour after inspecting some flood affected areas in high-range Idukki district, which suffered extensive damage due to landslides and floods.

The Congress chief visited a relief camp Painav village and took view of the low lying Cheruthoni bridge which was damaged when authorities opened the shutters of Cheruthoni Dam, part of Idukki Reservoir, after a gap of 26 years.

The approach road to the bridge was also damaged in the worst deluge in 100 years.

Gandhi later left for Delhi by a private carrier flight from the international airport at Nedumbassery near here.

He had assured the flood-affected people yesterday that his party would bring pressure on the central and state governments to provide compensation which they 'owe' to the affected people.

Visiting the flood-ravaged areas of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, he had also urged party workers to actively participate in relief and rehabilitation operations and help the people to make their ravaged houses liveable.

Arriving in Kerala yesterday morning, Gandhi spoke to people at relief camps, days after the deadliest deluge left a trail of destruction and claimed 474 lives in rain-related incidents since May 29 when the monsoon set in over the state.


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