Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was visiting flood-hit parts of Karnataka on Friday to review rehabilitation work, got into a public spat with a state minister after the latter asked her to wind up the press conference.
According to News18, the bitter exchange of words took place when the district-in-charge minister for Kodagu, Sa Ra Mahesh asked Sitharaman to end the press conference citing paucity of time. Sitharaman retorted saying she was following “minute-by-minute” the itinerary prepared by the district administration and was not at fault for the delay.
She told Mahesh, “I am a central minister and I am following your instructions. Unbelievable”. She asked Kodagu deputy commissioner Sri Vidhya if the itinerary was in order and asked her to resolve the differences with Mahesh over the programme, and not embarrass her.
Earlier on Friday, Sitharaman had announced a financial aid of Rs 1 crore from her MPLAD fund for the flood-hit districts of Karnataka.
"I am a member of Parliament from Karnataka. I want to offer Rs 1 crore from my MPLAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development) fund for Kodagu district," Sitharaman said at an event.
I'll definitely meet Nitin Gadkari to discuss the roads.I'll speak to Home Minister because he takes care of National Disaster Relief Funding & I'll certainly go back to Prime Minister to give him report of what I've seen here: Defence Min Nirmala Sitharaman in Karnataka's Kodagu pic.twitter.com/MuVuSc8Bmg
— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2018
The defence minister was further quoted by ANI as saying, "I have come here as restoration of some of the roads, houses, buildings, water & electricity connections in Kodagu will be done by the Army and the Air Force is also trying to help"
She visited Kushalnagar and Madapura in the district, which were severely affected by heavy rains and flash floods last week. She also interacted with some flood-affected people sheltered at a relief camp at Madikeri in the district.
On 21 August, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had urged the Centre to provide Rs 100 crore relief fund for Kodagu district. Similarly, former chief minister Siddaramaiah also appealed to the Narendra Modi to provide necessary relief for the victims of the floods.
The torrential rains that lashed the district last week left a huge trail of destruction and claimed at least 17 lives. More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 25, 2018 15:52 PM