Karnataka reeling under acute water crisis, Modi govt refusing to help people: Congress

"There is a provision in the scheme to do so during periods of drought. However, the Modi Sarkar has not only failed to approve the extension of the scheme, it has also failed to release Rs. 1600 crore towards the payment of wages to those working under MGNREGS," J Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi | The Congress on Monday said Karnataka is reeling under an acute water crisis due to a severe drought situation in most parts and accused the Modi government of refusing to help the people of the state.

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh's attack on the government came on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address a public meeting in Shivamogga.

"The prime minister is in Shivamogga, Karnataka today. We hope he addresses some of the key issues in the state in his address," he said.

Ramesh said Karnataka is reeling under an acute water crisis due to a severe drought situation in most parts of the state, with 223 of the state's 236 Talukas facing drought conditions.

"The state government has requested the Modi Sarkar to release funds of Rs 18,172 crore for drought relief. Why has the Modi Sarkar refused to help Karnataka's people so far?" he said in a post on X.

To help alleviate the drought-related stress on the rural economy, the Karnataka government has sought to increase the number of working days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) from 100 to 150, the Congress leader said.

"There is a provision in the scheme to do so during periods of drought. However, the Modi Sarkar has not only failed to approve the extension of the scheme, it has also failed to release Rs. 1600 crore towards the payment of wages to those working under MGNREGS," Ramesh said.

When is the Modi government going to pay Karnataka's MGNREGS workers their wages, he asked.

"Since taking office in 2023, the Karnataka government's efforts to provide an additional 5 kgs of rice to poor families through its Anna Bhagya Scheme have been disrupted by the Modi government," he said.

After initially agreeing to sell the Karnataka government the 2.28 lakh metric tonnes of rice required to meet the demands of the scheme at Rs 34 per kg, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has since refused to sell rice to the Karnataka government, he alleged.

"As of November 2023, the FCI's rice stocks were twice the amount of rice it needed to hold as a buffer - and its attempts to sell rice in the private markets have not been successful. Is the FCI's refusal to sell rice to the State Government of Karnataka, an obvious solution to its current problems, merely a case of political vendetta?" Ramesh said.

The Congress leader further said Shivamogga is the Lok Sabha segment represented by B Y Raghavendra, son of former BJP Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

"The Karnataka State BJP Chief is B.Y. Vijayendra, another son of former BJP Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. While in Shivamogga today, the prime minister should clarify what is the BJP's stance on 'dynasty' in politics?" he said and asked the PM to break his "silence" on these issues.

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