Apex court remarks on drought a critique of Congress: Minister

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said the Supreme Court’s directives to the Centre and critical observations on the drought situation in Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar were actually an “indictment of non-performance” of the Congress party that ruled the country for over 60 years.

“Yeh (Supreme Court order) aap par hai (This verdict is actually an indictment on you),” Singh told Congress members in the Lok Sabha while replying to a debate on drought and water scarcity that took place over the last three days.

“I am only only showing you a mirror. Even Supreme Court’s orders is a reflection of that. You do not want to see your own mirror … I am only showing you that,” Singh said amid repeated interruptions from Congress members.

Even Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge was seen trying to say something in the din.

“There can be no comparison between our two years of performance and your 60 years of performance,” the minister told Congress members.

“The Supreme Court’s order and the anxiety expressed by members on drought, all these are like mirror of the non-performance of over 60 years,” Singh said.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rapped Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar on the drought issue and directed the Centre to convene an urgent meeting with their chief secretaries to assess the drought situations in these states.

The court directed the union agriculture secretary to hold a meeting within a week with the three chief secretaries to declare drought in whichever district, taluka or tehsil it was necessary.

Referring to the apex court’s ruling, Kharge said the government should focus more on actions instead of rhetoric on various claims over the works and achievements of the Narendra Modi government.

“The UPA regime followed the same norms of distribution of funds to the states for drought,” Kharge said, countering the minister’s claims that fund allocation for drought hit states have gone up considerably under the Modi regime.

There were again clashes between the treasury and opposition members when the minister maintained that even for loan waiving there were reports of irregularities in Maharashtra during Congress-NCP rule.

“There is no shortage of funds,” the minister asserted more than once.

The agriculture minister said review of the drought situation at the top level has been made from time to time including at the level of PMO officials and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.



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