New Delhi, Dec 6 :
Thanks to the CPI-M leaders for advocating the cause of Odisha, the Centre decided Friday to disburse the first round assistance of Rs 300 crore to Odisha towards relief and rehabilitation of the people hit by the severe cyclonic storm Phailin.
CPI-M leader and MP Sitaram Yechury who had a meeting with BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik recently to cement his party’s pre-poll ties with the ruling Biju Janata Dal chose to play Odisha government’s emissary and took up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Parliament House today.
Yechury told reporters after his meting with the PM that the Centre had decided to release the first instalment of disaster assistance of Rs 300 crore to Odisha.
However, the Odisha Revenue minister SN Patro later said, the Centre has released only Rs 250 crore.
Yechury, along with CPI-M leaders from Odisha including state secretary Janardan Pati, had called on President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday to urge him to put pressure on the Central government to declare the devastation a national disaster and release the assistance money at the earliest.
The Prime Minister had earlier announced a grant of Rs 1,000 crore, but that was not followed up by any disbursement.
Yechury criticised the UPA government for not sending any senior minister to Odisha after the disaster to assess the damages caused by the cyclone and floods.