Despite rain havoc, Ministers busy with ‘Jan Swaraj’ conventions: Kumaraswamy

Former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy lamented the preoccupation of Ministers in the BJP Government with the Jan Swaraj conventions at a time when the State was reeling under the impact of havoc caused by heavy rains.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Mr. Kumaraswamy said crops on more than 5 to 6 lakh hectares in the State had been destroyed in the recent rain havoc. Several kilometres of roads and bridges had been washed away in the rains while more than 20 people had lost their lives in the unseasonal rains.

But, the Ministers are busy addressing conventions in different parts of the State. The debate at the conventions organised to drum up support for the party in the ensuing elections to the Legislative Council centred on issues other than the loss of crop and the suffering by the farmers in the heavy and unseasonal rains, he regretted, and added that the behaviour of the BJP leaders showed how much seriousness and commitment they had to build the lives of the farmers.

He urged the State Government to set aside the guidelines on sanctioning compensation under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and immediately provide compensation to the suffering farmers, who had lost standing crops. The rains had also led to collapse of many houses, Mr. Kumaraswamy claimed.

Many people, who had been hit by COVID-19, had not received the promised compensation.

Though Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had also recently announced that compensation for collapse of houses will be provided, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the government has only been making such announcements and not following it up with action.

The announcements made by the government during the last three years to construct the damaged houses in different parts of the State like Belagavi, Bagalkot, and Kodagu that had been struck by natural disasters had still not been fully implemented, the JD(S) leader said.

He said the government cannot cite the excuse of poll code of conduct to deny payment of compensation to the suffering farmers.

Mr. Kumaraswamy also said there is no shortage of funds. He referred to the complaint lodged by State Contractors’ Association to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the alleged demand for 40% of commission to clear the bills of government projects and asked the government to set aside funds for paying compensation to the farmers instead of “over-estimating” government projects.

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