By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the UAE Ambassador stated that no official announcement was made on the amount of financial aid to Kerala, the state government feels the Centre has been playing spoilsport regarding the UAE promise of R700 crore. If the Centre is reluctant to accept the offer, it should well compensate the same by giving adequate assistance, the state feels.
“The offer of Rs 700 crore made by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The matter was also conveyed to the Prime Minister by the UAE Government. If there was no such assistance, why did the PM welcome and thank the financial aid? Also, the MEA officially rejected any offer of assistance from abroad on August 22. Isn’t it evident that an offer was indeed made?” asked a top officer with the Chief Minister’s Office.
In fact, on August 17, UAE vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted many times with his offer to help Kerala, which according to him has contributed greatly to building the UAE. On the next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted thanking him for the offer to support Kerala during the floods.
On August 21, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the media that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan communicated the offer of `700 crore to the Prime Minister.He also said the assistance from UAE was first informed to Malayali businessman and philanthropist M A Yusuff Ali.
There were multiple tweets from the CMO, including those tagging the Prime Minister and the UAE ruler.
“If there was no such offer, the PMO and the MEA should have revealed it then and there. On August 22, the Chief Minister made clear that, as per the May 2016 National Disaster Management Plan, there are no obstacles to accepting voluntary assistance given by other countries as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victim and the Centre may accept the offer. The Chief Minister said he would take up the matter with the Prime Minister. That’s after all these denials and rejections came out,” pointed out the CMO.
The CPM has already come out accusing the BJP Government at the Centre of playing politics. The Centre’s reluctance to help the state is evident from the fact that even the preliminary offer of assistance has not been fulfilled, the party said.
“After the preliminary assessment, the central delegation offered an assistance of `820 crore against a demand for `9,000 crore. Now, that has also been cut short to `600 crore,” said M V Jayarajan, Private Secretary to the Chief Minister.