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CM attacks Shah over non-release of drought relief funds, says he has no moral right to seek votes

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Mysuru, Apr 2 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claimed on Tuesday Union Home Minister Amit Shah has no moral right to seek votes from the electorate, as he accused the BJP-led government at the Centre with betraying and doing justice to the people of the State over the issue of delay in release of drought relief funds in particular.

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He said BJP's alliance partner and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy should have asked Shah, who is on a visit to the State for Lok Sabha election campaigning, to give drought relief assistance to the State.

"Let Amit Shah come or Narendra Modi (PM) come or J P Nadda (BJP President) come. Let any one come. Amit Shah is the head of the high power committee, has he given drought relief? What moral right does he have to ask for votes from the people of Karnataka?" Siddaramaiah asked while talking to reporters here.

"Has he (Shah) given drought relief? Amit Shah is its Chairman (high powered committee). Have they (Centre) given -- permission to the Mekedatu project, environmental clearance to the Mahadayi project, compensation as recommended by the 15th finance commission, Rs 5,300 crore promised to Upper Bhadra project? Why should people vote for them? Amit Shah actually, he has no moral right," he added.

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Karnataka has declared in 223 out of 240 taluks as drought-hit; 196 of them were categorised as severely drought affected.

It's been five months since his government first approached the Centre seeking drought relief but not even a rupee has been given to the state, the Chief Minister said. Three memorandums have been given since October; also the central team had come for inspection and they had submitted their report to the union government.

"I had personally met PM Narendra Modi on December 19, Amit Shah on December 20, he had said he will call a meeting and decide on December 23 itself. How many days have passed since then? Did they give? It has been five months till now they have not given drought relief. Is Amit Shah giving the money from his house? Is it a 'Bhikshe' (alms)? It's our money, our tax money," the Chief Minister added.

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More than BJP leaders, Kumaraswamy has become the party's spokesperson, when issues concerning injustice to the state by the Centre are raised, Siddaramaiah said. "Tell me, whether it is injustice and betrayal to seven crore Kannadigas or not?" "Definitely the people of Karnataka will teach a lesson. Don't people understand ? they should understand," he added.

Shah on Tuesday held a joint meeting with BJP-JD(S) coalition leaders. He will also be attending meetings and programmes of BJP before holding a road show in Channapatna in the evening.

Asked about the Election Commission notice to his son Yathindra for his comments against Shah, Siddaramaiah said: "he has replied to it." "His (Yathindra's) comments were based on a CBI report. I have already said this, there is no need for me to give further clarification," he said.

Addressing a party meeting in Hanur town of Chamarajanagar district recently, Yathindra, a former MLA, allegedly said: "Home Minister Amit Shah is a goonda, rowdy, there was a murder charge against him in Gujarat and he was exiled, and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi did politics keeping such people next to him...." PTI KSU RS RS

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