Bhubaneswar, Dec 28:
Urging the Union Government to declare the cyclonic storm Phailin as a ‘national calamity’, nine political parties, including the ruling BJD, on Saturday demanded the immediately release Rs 5,000 crore by the Centre for rehabilitation and restoration work in the affected areas.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Centre’s failure to depute any senior Minister to visit the state to take stock of the loss caused by the cyclone, the nine parties have decided to draw the attention of the President in this regard through a memorandum to be submitted to the Governor.
The leaders of the nine parties – BJD, BJP, CP I(M), CPI, Forward Block, NCP, Samajwadi Party, BSP and RPI – proposed an amendment to the norms of the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) based on which changes could be made in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) at a meeting here.
CPI (M) state secretary Janardan Pati said the role of the Central government after the post-cyclonic period has been ‘deplorable’.
It is to be noted that the state government, in two separate memoranda to the Centre, had demanded Rs 5832.50 crore for assistance from NDRF. However, the Centre has released only Rs 1000 crore so far.
However, despite the so-called altruistic goal, it is difficult to miss the political significance of the coming together of the nine parties.
While the Left parties have gone out of their way to seek an alliance or seat adjustments in the least, with the ruling BJD before the 2014 polls, other smaller parties surely see the ‘wisdom’ behind such a move.
The ruling BJD could not ask for more, politically, when a whole lot of small parties are willing to join its anti-UPA bandwagon on their own instead of looking at other alliance options.