Sources to the Karnataka government said , the southwestern district of Kodagu has incurred losses to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore due to heavy rainfall over the last few weeks. Chief minister Kumaraswamy has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide Rs 2,000 crore in financial assistance for rehabilitation and restoration work.
When defence Minister Sitharaman visited there She had lost her cool on Friday, when Kodagu district in-charge minister Sa Ra Mahesh said that a number of government officials were waiting to meet her. “I am following a minute-to-minute programme… Central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable!” she angrily snapped.
Hours after the spat, Mahesh told mediapersons that he had only asked Sitharaman to attend to the officials first so they could go about with rehabilitation work. “I pointed out that the meeting with the waiting officials would take hardly five minutes, and she could continue with her other engagements after that,” he said.
A day after defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman angry reaction Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara reminded her on Saturday that state representatives are in no way “inferior” to those of the Centre.
Parameshwara then went on to suggest that Sitharaman was in no way superior to Mahesh just because she was a central representative. “State governments derive their powers from our Constitution, not from the Centre. The Constitution has distributed powers among the Centre and states to ensure an equitable partnership between both. We are not inferior to the Centre; we are partners,” he said in another tweet
Political observers say defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state minister Sa Ra Mahesh’s heated exchange of words during the BJP leader’s visit to the flood-hit Kodagu district on Friday, did not defuse but only added fire to criticism that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not yet visited Karnataka’s devastated coffee heartland that had rendered 5,000 Kodavas homeless, even though the PM had conducted an aerial survey only miles away in neighbouring Kerala.