BENGALURU: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has came under fire from the state government and Congress leaders for snubbing Kodagu district in-charge Minister Sa Ra Mahesh during a meeting to review damage caused by floods.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara termed it as “disappointing” while senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah accused the Union Minister of being more interested in humiliating the state minister and not helping people affected by the floods. The Defence Minister was in Kodagu on Friday. She allegedly rebuffed Mahesh when he requested her to attend a meeting to review relief works as officials are waiting for them. “Madam @nsitharaman, our ministers have stayed back in Kodagu for weeks to oversee relief operations along with district administration. You should extend to them the same respect that they extend for the help from your end. It was disappointing to see you lash out at my colleague,” Parameshwara tweeted.
Later, speaking to reporters, the DyCM said Nirmala Sitharaman is elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka and she should have taken a delegation of MPs to meet the Prime Minister. “They not only came late, but also shouted at our district-in-charge Minister. That was not right.”
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said he had expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assess the loss, but instead it was delegated to the Defence Minister, who was not interested in helping people. “This reflects BJP’s apathy towards Karnataka,” he said. “With the conduct of @BJP4India during these difficult times, PM @narendramodi ‘s actual formula of 4P to pick new ministers is being more clear: Photo-ops over empathy; Press conference over implementation; Publicity over efficiency and Politics during crisis,” the Congress leader tweeted.
BJP MP Prathap Simha, however, tried to play down the incident by tweeting “except the little confusion during the meeting of officials, the entire visit of Defence Minister @nsitharaman ji went on very well. She came to Coorg to personally meet the distressed people and get them necessary help from Centre. Pls don’t unearth any controversy.”