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Karnataka urges PM for massive drought relief package

Delhi,Business/Economy, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) An all-party team from Karnataka led by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought immediate release of Rs.1,500 crore for drought relief in the state.


Gowda said the team apprised the prime minister about the severe drought in the state as 123 taluks (revenue sub-divisions) out of 176 taluks have been hit by it. Crop loss is estimated at over Rs.5,800 crore, he said.


"The prime minister positively responded to our request. We hope that relief will be granted soon," Gowda, who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state, told reporters after the meeting.


Leader of opposition in the state assembly Siddaramaiah of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular leader H.D. Revanna accompanied Gowda to the meeting with Manmohan Singh. External Affairs minister S.M. Krishna, Corporate Affairs minister M. Veerappa Moily, Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, and junior Railway Minister K.H. Muniyappa were also present.


The delegation earlier in the day met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and briefed them on the drought situation in the state.


"Both have promised to take early steps to provide help to the state," Gowda said.


A central team will visit the state within this week to assess the situation to help the central government to decide on the relief package, he said.


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