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PM has assured more help to flood-hit TN: Jayalalithaa
December 16, 2005 15:58 IST
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Friday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured her of further central assistance to the flood-hit state without specifying the amount that would be provided in addition to the Rs 500 crore already given against the demand of Rs 13,685 crore for relief work.
"The prime minister said he will do his best and provide whatever is possible, given the resources of the Centre," Jayalalithaa told reporters after about a half-an-hour meeting with Dr Singh at his Parliament House office.
"He gave a sympathetic hearing, but has not committed anything specific. He said he will have discussions with the officers. We are hoping for the best," she said in reply to a question whether she was satisfied with the meeting.
The chief minister said she did not submit any memorandum to Dr Singh as her government had already given three memoranda to the Centre, seeking immediate assistance.
The Centre had so far given a special assistance of Rs 500 crore and 10,000 kl of kerosene, but this was not sufficient as the state had sought Rs 13,685 crore, 2.58 lakh tonnes of rice and 43,200 kl of kerosene.
The state was battered as many as five times by heavy rains in 2005, without providing any time to recover, against the usual one spell every year. In the process, the rains had taken a heavy toll on the infrastructure, including those related to agriculture, drinking water and communication, she said.
To a question on the role of the 12 central ministers from Tamil Nadu, she said the very fact that she had to come all the way specifically for meeting the prime minister to demand additional relief showed that they had obviously failed to take care of the interests of their state despite holding important portfolios.
Asked whether the Centre was discriminating against Tamil Nadu on political grounds, she said it was premature for her to make any comment as the prime minister had assured her that more assistance would be provided.
On the charge of members of Parliament from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Democratic Progressive Alliance that Bharatiya Janata Party was responsible for their inability to raise the flood issue in Parliament as it was stalling the proceedings on the Iraqi oil payoff, the chief minister said the Volcker issue was serious enough to be taken up in the two Houses.
Asked about the scam involving 11 MPs, who were caught on camera allegedly accepting bribe for raising questions in Parliament, she said, "This is something which is truly shocking. It is a disgrace to the nation and has lowered the image and prestige of the country."
As soon as Jayalalithaa left Parliament complex premises, a bomb alert was issued and Dr Singh was moved to his South Block office, about a kilometer away. Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned abruptly at around 1155 hrs following intelligence reports that terrorists had possibly planted bombs in the building.