New Delhi: Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Jena Monday accused the Odisha government of not focusing on priority areas in providing relief to people hit by the cyclone Phailin and demanded an all-party meeting.
Talking to the media here, Jena said Phailin had been declared a calamity of “severe nature” by the central government and each MP can contribute upto Rs.50 lakh from his MP Land Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) towards relief effort.
Asked why Prime Minster Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not visit Odisha after the cyclone, Jena said: “They could have visited.”
He said they would be going there in the coming days.
Jena asked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to convene an all-party meeting on cyclone relief as soon as possible.
“It will bring everything on the table and there will be transparency,” Jena said.
Fifty-nine people were killed, 5.14 lakh houses were reported damaged and 11 lakh hectare or crop area were hit by Phailin and floods in Odisha last month.
Jena, an MP from Balasore in Odisha, alleged that the state government was not able to provide immediate relief to people who fled their homes.
He also alleged that the “really affected areas” were being bypassed in relief and rehabilitation efforts and accused the government of acting on political considerations.
“The state government is not focusing on priority areas in giving relief.”
Jena appealed to MPs to contribute generously from MPLADS to help rebuild damaged infrastructure.
The central government, he said, had sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore as interim relief to the state.
Jena said the state government had sought Rs.5,000 crore in assistance and discussions were being held with the central government on the quantum of total relief money.