New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday demanded that floods in Kerala should be declared a “national calamity.”
All elected representatives of the party would donate one month’s salary towards relief efforts in the state, it said.
The decision to donate salaries was taken at a meeting of Congress general secretaries, party in-charges of states, legislative party leaders and state unit chiefs, which was presided over by party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi had earlier in the day urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately declare the floods in Kerala as “a national disaster.”
Briefing reporters after meeting of Congress office-bearers, party communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government should come forward to help Kerala where over 180 people have died and property worth over Rs 3,000 crore has been damaged due to floods.
“It was decided that all Congress MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Congress MLAs across India and party MLCs will donate one month’s salary, which will be sent through the AICC for relief measures in Kerala,” Surjewala said.
He said it was also decided that all Congress governments will come forward to help the people of the state.
Surjewala said Punjab government has already donated Rs 10 crore to the Kerala Relief Fund and JD-S and Congress- government in Karnataka has also donated Rs 10 crore to the relief measures. The government in Puducherry has also donated Rs 1 crore.
He said special relief committees will be formed in adjoining states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu apart from Puducherry. Material collected by Congress workers will be sent to the people of Kerala.
Surjewala said the party also noted with concern the grave situation due to floods in Karnataka and some other parts of the country.
“Modiji should stop discriminating in matters of flood relief. The Prime Minister must rise above party-politics and come forward to help Kerala, Karnataka and other flood-affected states. The Prime Minister should declare Kerala floods as a national calamity,” Surjewala said.
Overflowing rivers and a series of landslides in Kerala have resulted in the death of 180 people as of Saturday morning, with over 3 lakh others forced to move to some hundreds of relief camps.