Cong wants Rs 3000-crore package for 3 cyclone-hit states, urges PM to be magnanimous

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New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) The Congress on Friday said a relief package Rs 3,000 crore was needed for the cyclone-hit states of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show magnanimity by 'rising above political differences'.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Rs 1,000 crore package announced by the PM is grossly insufficient to provide home, livelihood and other relief to those affected by cyclone 'Yaas'.

'It can hardly restore normalcy and wipe the tears of the people,' Surjewala said in a statement.

He said the Congress party believes that every household ravaged by the cyclone requires special financial assistance.

'Considering the impact of the cyclone Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 500 Crore for Orissa and Rs 500 crore between West Bengal and Jharkhand) is grossly insufficient to meet the needs of lakhs rendered homeless, medically affected and without a livelihood,' he said.

Earlier in the day, a release issued by the Prime Minister's Office said Modi has announced a financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for immediate relief activities.

'Rs 500 crore would be immediately given to Odisha. Another Rs 500 crore has been announced for West Bengal and Jharkhand, which will be released on the basis of the damage,' the PMO said.

In his statement, Surjewala said, 'We urge upon PM Narendra Modi to show magnanimity by rising above political differences and give a financial package of at least Rs 3,000 Crore (to be proportionately distributed amongst the three States as per the scale of damage), on the lines of the cyclone relief package announced by him on May 19, 2021 in Gujarat which was similarly affected by Cyclone.” Surjewala said Congress president Sonia Gandhi and every party worker stand in solidarity with the people of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand in these times of widespread destruction caused by cyclone 'Yaas'.

Coming at a time when the people were already reeling under severe distress caused by the ravaging second wave of COVID-19, the cyclone has caused immense hardship to ordinary people, especially the farmer, the poor and the marginalised, he said.

The party has also asked its workers to provide relief to the needy and affected, and assist those stuck in the disaster. PTI SKC TIR TIR

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