BANGALORE: Squarely blaming the BJP government for the reeling drought in Karnataka, the Congress chastised it for its lack of initiative in devising appropriate relief measures. This finds mention in a memorandum submitted to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee by a delegation of Congress leaders comprising Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr G Parameshwar and Opposition Leader in the Assembly Siddaramaiah, who called upon him here on Monday night.
The memorandum points out that the widespread rural-urban migration in the state was reflective of the crisis.
“Infighting within the state BJP and the various scandals the government is mired in has led to a collapse in governance; this is tantamount to rubbing salt on the wounds of those affected by drought,” the representation elucidates.
Stressing that such a drought was not encountered in the last 40 years, the petition observes that small and marginal farmers and farm labourers have been worst hit due to the drought.
The memo adds that the rural masses have been forced to migrate due to lack of water, fodder and shelter, and farmers are resorting to distress sale of cattle.
“The huge quantum of unspent money released by the Centre under various schemes, including the MGNREGA and Bharath Nirman, stand testimony to the lack of governance and total collapse of administration,” the memorandum states.
It also highlights that the power shortage has dented the energising of borewells and mini-water supply schemes.
The Congress has appealed to the Union minister to sanction funds from the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) to overcome the prevailing drought. The Congress, while highlighting the plight of arecanut and silk farmers in the state, urged that a special relief package be announced for them.