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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Gujarat Govt. flayed for inadequate drought relief

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com
Saturday, April 15, 2000


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Gujarat Govt. flayed for inadequate drought relief

By Our Special Correspondent

GANDHINAGAR, APRIL 14. The Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly and former Chief Minister, Mr. Amarsinh Chaudhary, on Thursday expressed shock at the State Government's ``failure'' to take advantage of the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit by asking for more central assistance for the drought-hit.

Mr. Chaudhary told presspersons that the Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, did not meet the Prime Minister under the ``pretext'' of indisposition and neither did he submit a memorandum seeking more central assistance when Mr. Vajpayee was in Anand earlier this week.

Mr. Vajpayee was in Gujarat for two days and his official functions were confined to Anand and Karamsad, the birth place of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The Centre had so far given Rs. 55 crores under the ways and means advance but the State Government had asked for at least Rs. 722 crores for drought relief. The BJP was in power both at the Centre and in the State, but Gujarat had to suffer because of the ``incompetence and inefficiency'' of the Keshubhai Patel Government, Mr. Chaudhary said.

Mr. Chaudhary alleged that Mr. Patel had deliberately avoided meeting the Prime Minister because Mr. Vajpayee was ``very unhappy'' with his performance after the controversial notification permitting State Government employees to participate in RSS activities.

Mr. Chaudhary also criticised Mr. Patel's U.S. visit, saying except for signing two ``ridiculous'' memoranda of understanding, his visit was a waste.


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