SRINAGAR: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah today criticised the Centre over the “delay” in granting a special package to the flood-affected people of J&K, alleging why the proposal submitted by the state government “remains an object of contemptuous neglect”.
“Now when the state is under the direct control of the central government, I fail to understand why the proposed Rs 44,000 crores flood relief package submitted by the state government to the central government remains an object of contemptuous neglect. What is stopping the central government now to match its efforts with its words?
“Who do they have trust issues with now? These are answers that hundreds and thousands of flood victims (of Jammu and Kashmir) are keenly awaiting a reply to,” Omar said, during his address to the people at Beerwah assembly seat of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
The former chief minister said at a time when the people of Kashmir have shown extraordinary resilience and character in uniting to fight against an unprecedented natural calamity, the attitude of “neglect and indifference” shown by the central government is “extremely unfortunate”.
“Enormous efforts need to be undertaken to rebuild thousands of homes, rebuild public infrastructure, rejuvenate our tourism sector, our handicrafts sector and this callous approach towards these immediate needs is shocking to say the least,” he said.
The MLA-elect from Beerwah said when he was the chief minister, the state government did everything possible with whatever resources it had to mitigate the sufferings of the flood victims.
“A lot of flood victims will be able to survive the harsh winter because of the money released for rent for their alternate housing that was released from the CM’s relief fund.” This natural calamity required a massive post-flood response from the central government in terms of immediate reconstruction of nearly a hundred thousand damaged houses, and reviving of devastated economy, he said.
Omar also lashed out at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing the party of playing politics over the natural disaster.
“Rather than rising up to the occasion, some people chose to play politics over this collective misery instead. A typical example is how PDP played politics over the floods by asking for immediate early elections to mitigate the sufferings of the flood-victims only to tell us later that PDP was in no hurry to give people of this state a government”.
He said it would be a grave attempt by the PDP to humiliate and disrespect the flood victims by pretending that PDP was apparently bargaining on the flood relief package in the process of government formation.
“This is PDP’s way of seeking moral legitimacy behind smokescreens. Flood relief is a right of the flood victims and PDP should know that this right cannot be exploited for its partisan interests,” he said.