Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to apprise them of the drought crisis in the state.
After the meeting, Siddharamaiah tweeted that both of them had assured him of all help to deal with the state’s unprecedented drought.
State minister TB Jayachandra and Appaji CS Nada Gouda- special representatives of the Karnataka government in New Delhi- too were present in the meeting, going by a Press Trust of India report.
Despite writing to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi a number of times for an appointment, he was not given one, Siddharamaiah told reporters in New Delhi late on Thursday.
“I had sought an appointment with the PM to specifically discuss pending issues like drought-relief and the Mahadayi water-dispute. But I did not get an appointment,” he was quoted as saying.
Siddharamaiah then held a meeting with Karnataka MPs to discuss these issues, including the sanction of central funds for drought-relief.
With Modi not meeting the state delegation, many state Congress leaders expressed their unhappiness over the same. Siddharamaiah himself expressed his disappointment over the fact that "the PM could not find time to meet an all-party delegation" from the state.
Senior Congress leader VS Ugrappa opines that Modi is deliberately ignoring Chief Ministers from non-BJP ruled states. The PM had earlier refused to meet a delegation from Kerala to discuss the cooperative sector crisis.
Ugrappa told The News Minute that the BJP leadership, especially Modi, is intolerant of Karnataka, a state under the rule of the Congress party.
"Modi did not even inform the CM about his inconvenience. This is nothing but step-motherly attitude towards Karnataka. There is no reason he should have done so," insists Ugrappa.
He even suspects that Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar –who was also former CM of Goa- had something to do with Modi not meeting the Karnataka delegation to discuss the Mahadayi water dispute among others.
The said dispute is over 30 years old and involves the sharing of the waters of the Mahadayi or Mandovi River between the states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
It is the responsibility of the Centre to intervene in times of inter-state disputes, and the PM not having time to address such matters is not acceptable, he adds.
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee termed it an example of “the PM not walking the talk on Co-operative Federalism.”
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge said that he was surprised that the PM had not met Siddharamaiah.
“I am surprised and sad that PM has not given an appointment to the Chief Minister, despite writing letters two to three times. Will he behave like this with the Chief Ministers of Goa and Maharashtra?” he asked.