Union Minister K J Alphons on Monday termed Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac's comment that the Centre's relief of Rs 100 crore for the flood-hit state was inadequate, a "political" one and alleged that he did not visit the worst-affected areas.
This comes a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh sanctioned a grant of Rs 100 crore to flood-ravaged Kerala where 39 people have lost their lives in unprecedented rainfall, with the state pegging its damages at Rs 8,316 crore. The Kerala government had sought an assistance of Rs 1,220 crore from the Centre to tide over the crisis.
On Monday, Isaac took to Twitter to say the "precious" Rs 100 crore was "from the regular disaster management fund due to Kerala".
During a media interaction at the Indian Women's Press Club in the national capital, Union Tourism Minister Alphons said "Thomas Isaac is complaining all the time. This is a completely political statement. During the UPA rule, the ministers from Kerala never visited the state in the event of a disaster unlike under the current regime.
"We went there; the home minister, I, MoS (home) Kiren Rijiju, we all went. Isaac never visited his constituency Alleppey during these floods. What is he talking about? I have asked for a special package for Kerala."
Alphons further said that there are clear guidelines for providing relief for disaster-hit states and the government has followed prescribed norms to offer assistance to Kerala.
He said there was no scope for any "discrimination" against any state.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said rebuilding affected areas will be arduous task and that he has been personally campaigning to get generous donations to the relief fund.
The state government is providing Rs 4 lakh for those who lost houses and Rs 6 lakh for those who lost land, apart from Rs 3,800 per family in affected parts.
The usual range for the first two categories is around Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, and the Rs 3,800 aid is unprecedented. Beyond these, the Kerala government has announced that it would provide compensation for farm-related damages by providing thrice the amount of what central rules mandate.