BJD slams Centre for delay in cyclone assistance

Bhubaneswar, Oct 21 (IANS) The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) here Monday slammed the central government for not providing any financial assistance to the cyclone ravaged Odisha.

"The central government has not provided any financial assistance yet for the cyclone and flood," senior BJD leader and state Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das told reporters here.

"Whenever there was a calamity elsewhere in the country, the prime minister and top Congress leaders immediately visited the affected area, but no senior Congress leader, the prime minister or any minister has visited the affected area of our state," he said.

Refuting allegation, state Congress president Jayadeb Jena said, "The central government has been providing all the necessary assistance to the state. The allegation is politically motivated."

The severe tropical cyclone Phailin in the Bay of Bengal, which made landfall Oct 12 night near Gopalpur in state's Ganjam district, killed at least 44 and left behind a trail of destruction in several districts of Odisha, bringing heavy rain and causing floods.

Around 1.2 crore people in 17 districts of the state have been affected by the calamity, the state government said.

The government estimated the damage due to cyclone and subsequent floods at about Rs.4,242 crore, and asked the central government to provide financial assistance.

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