Amit Malviya attacks Kerala govt over section aligned to 'Communist-Islamist nexus' celebrating non-existent UAE aid

Amit Malviya, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) national head of Information and Technology, on Friday attacked the Kerala government with regard to the UAE aid. He expressed his concerns over the Left government — which he calls a section aligned to the "Communist-Islamist nexus"— celebrating a "non-existing" offer from UAE and ignoring Indian organisations.

Tweeting a picture of a billboard in Kerala thanking the UAE for its aid, Malviya claims that the Communist Party of India(Marxist) government is ignoring the help by Indian organisations like Seva Bharati because it doesn’t suit their "ideological narrative."

As the row over foreign aid for the flood-ravaged southern state escalated, the UAE on Friday stated that no official announcement had been made regarding the Rs 700 crore aid. UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna told The Indian Express that the assessment of relief needed for the flood and aftermath is ongoing and there has been no official announcement so far on any specific amount as financial aid.

Malviya had previous tweeted the Indian Express article stating that there has been a national debate on the matter when there isn't even an offer on the table.

Union minister KJ Alphons on Thursday requested the Centre to make a "one-time exception" to its 14-year policy of not accepting foreign aid in the face of natural calamities for Kerala. Alphons earlier in the day said the NDA government had "inherited" the policy of not accepting foreign funds for natural calamities from the previous UPA government.

He said the Centre's stand on Kerala was a convention "inherited" from previous governments, when during 2004's devastating Tsunami, then prime minister Manmohan Singh had refused aid from foreign countries.

Earlier, among others, Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac had criticised the BJP-led government over the refusal of aid and said Kerala had asked the Centre for a financial support of Rs 2,200 crore, but was granted only Rs 600 crore. "We make no request to any foreign government but UAE government voluntarily offered Rs 700 crore. No, says Union government, it is below our dignity to accept foreign aid. This is a dog in the manger policy (sic)," Isaac had written on Twitter.

Alphons accused Isaac of playing "misleading politics". Stating that the Centre's Rs 760-crore aid to the state was for the immediate rescue-and-relief operations, the Union minister said the due process will be followed in releasing the required funds to Kerala once it assessed the losses it had incurred.

Heavy rains and consequent floods have claimed 231 lives in Kerala since 8 August, besides causing an estimated loss of Rs 20,000 crore to the state. Around 13 lakh people are currently put up in relief camps as the southern state is facing its worst flood in 100 years.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 14:08:07 IST

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