PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a relief package of Rs 500 crore after conducting an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of Bihar, officials said.
However, many say the relief amount is “inadequate” given the gravity of the situation.
#BiharFloods: After aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Bihar, PM has declared an immediate relief of Rs. 500 crore.
— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2017
Even Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced Rs 1,000 crore relief package for the 2008 Kosi flood victims.
According to a report of Disaster Management Department, the floods have affected 1.67 crore population settled across 19 districts of Bihar this time, apart from claiming 418 lives till date.
The PM landed in Purnia around 10 in the morning after which he conducted an aerial survey of the flooded region for about an hour in the company of chief minister Nitish Kumar and other.
Subsequently, he held a review meeting with the officials before announcing the relief package.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad described the PM’s programme as a “drama” saying Modi is coming at a time when flood water is receding.
“It is a drama and the flood is an excuse. He will visit flood victims as the floodwaters are receding. Where was he when nearly 400 people died and lakhs of people were forced to flee their homes?” he asked.
The PM’s visit assumes a political significance since it takes place a day before Lalu Prasad’s “anti-BJP rally” on Sunday.
The rally has been called to strike unity among all non-BJP parties in the background of the volte face by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose maneuvering has severely shaken the opposition unity.
However, that Modi does not want his visit to be interpreted in a different light can be measured from that he is going to skip a luncheon that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had offered to have together.
A meeting between the two even over a lunch would have left some scopes for the opposition to point the finger at “politicking” at the time of natural calamities, which Modi may have wanted to avoid and keep a clean slate.