Central ministers to visit Assam to assess flood loss

Guwahati, Sep 7 – A central ministerial team will visit Assam soon to assess the flood situation that has affected 21 districts and several lakhs of people in the state, union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Monday.

Interacting with the media here, Sonowal — union minister of sports and youth affairs and a BJP Lok Sabha member from the state — countered the Assam government’s claim of lack of fund flow from the Centre to deal with the flood situation.

He said the BJP will publish a white paper at an appropriate time to show the actual flow of central funds to Assam.

The Assam government has Rs.1,425.45 crore under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), which is yet to be utilised. We feel this is not the time to indulge in politics and we urge the Assam chief minister to refrain from politicising the flood issue, Sonowal said.

Slamming Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Sonowal said the state government has been shirking its responsibility by citing fund crunch.

The state government is yet to submit the memorandum detailing the losses. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have assured all possible support to the flood affected people, he said.

Instead of cooperating, the state government has resorted to blame game, he said.

Gogoi earlier said that while Assam was reeling under floods where around 17 lakh people have been affected, BJP leaders instead of helping the victims were shedding ‘crocodile tears’ and indulging in mud-slinging to destabilise his government.

Meanwhile, BJP Lok Sabha member Ramen Deka alleged that in the last 15 years, the state government has diverted funds under the non lapsable central pool of resources (NLCPR) to other projects. There is a question mark if in case of SDRF, a similar thing has been done.