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No provision to declare Kerala floods as national calamity: Alphons Kannanthanam

Alphons Kannanthanam today turned down the demand of Congress leaders to declare Kerala flood as a "national calamity" and said there was no provision in the Disaster Management Act 2005 to do so.

Published: 20th August 2018 11:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2018 11:19 PM   |  A+A-

An aerial view of flooded areas of Kerala on Monday 20 2018. (Photo | Coast Guard)

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam today turned down the demand of Congress leaders to declare Kerala flood as a "national calamity" and said there was no provision in the Disaster Management Act 2005 to do so.

Responding to the statement of former Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A K Antony in this regard, the senior BJP leader said the Disaster Management Act was passed when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre.

Antony had asked the union government to immediately declare the Kerala floods as a national disaster.

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Declaring the Kerala floods as a 'national calamity' would help in garnering funds not only from the country, but also in getting aid from abroad, Antony said.

On the relief sanctioned by the Centre, Antony said Rs 600 crore was nothing as huge damage had been caused to the state.

Reacting to Antony's remark, Kannanthanam said "There is no provision to declare any calamity as national calamity.

None of the calamities were declared as national by the Congress when it was in power from 2004-14.

"Terming the statement of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Antony in this regard as 'stupid', Kannanthanam said "does Antony, who was the defence minister of the country for ten years not know the rules and provisions of the act.

Taking a dig at the Congress President, Kannanthanam said "let us excuse Rahul as he does not have any administrative and political experience, but a statement like this from a senior leader like Antony was uncalled for, at a time when the people of Kerala are united to face the challenge caused by the floods.

The BJP leader said the aid of Rs 500 crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to flood-hit areas was only for immediate relief works.

The central team would visit the state again to assess the damage caused by the floods and would be extending more assistance, he added.

On the demand of the Congress to hand over the relief work to the army, Kannanthanam said there was no provision in the Constitution to do that.

In the event of a calamity, the army will assist the civil authorities based on their request, he added.

State Opposition leader and former KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala had demanded handing over of relief works to the army.

Kannanthanam also said instead of making statements like this, the Congress leaders should ask party workers to go to the field.

"This shows the sorry state of affairs in the Congress party and I think, it is anti-people.

Because, the state showed that they are one except for the Congress leaders who are speaking absolutely ridiculous things," he added.

There was only a provision to declare the floods a disaster of severe nature, the union minister said.

Over 200 people have lost their lives in the rains, floods and landslides in the state where over 7.

24 lakh displaced people have been sheltered in 5,645 relief camps since August 8.

 



Comments(3)

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  • Ninan

    dear Kannamthanamji what is in a name? Please don't oblige the congress party or Antonyji .Please ask your leader and the BJP to be fair, just and unbiased towards the people of Kerala when it comes to support and help.Even half of the 20 thousand crore damage would be welcome.It is peanuts that your government has given to us.Your help from Modi government is nothing compared to the help raised by the Malayali community around the world, and the volunteering of our people have showed.The sheer grit and courage of our state is so inspiring to the rest of India.Your BJP ruled states should be inspired by the governance and the leadership shown by the left government.The yogis and saffron brigades who rule the roost in UP, MP and Rajasthan and Haryana should be motivated by what Pirayai Vijan and his colleagues have achieved.Your government have given hundreds of crores to religious bodies and organisations in UP and MP and Rajasthan inthe name of development.You should allot even a fraction of those amount to the relief and rehabilitation work of the people of government.Please do not be a masters's voice, and imitate your ideological bosses.Show some independent thinking and stand tall by asking for a fair share for Kerala and its poor and the wretched at this time of our tragedy. Your polished defence of your leader is fine, and and you are taking orders from you BJP bosses,which is understandable.But in that process you have become a blind Modi Bhakt and a brainless saffron wala. Please do not forget your roots.Be fair and just in your role as a representative of the state of Kerala.
    3 years ago reply
    • vicky

      When directly PM is observing everything and you are saying they didn't do anything for you. I don't think you are in sense or a person with wisdom. You are one of the people who want to do politics over dead bodies and destruction.
      3 years ago reply
    • G.S.UDAY

      No politics please. Malayali people know how to survive in a difficult situation.
      3 years ago reply
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