Row over Nirmala Sitharaman's itinerary for Kodagu visit

Source: PTI | Published on 25th August 2018, 7:48 PM | State News |

Madikeri: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh were
today locked in an exchange of words over her itinerary during
a visit to the flood-hit Kodagu district.


The entire episode took place in the presence of
officials and the media at the district commissioner's office
here.


Sitharaman was interacting with a group of affected
people here when Mashesh, the district in-charge minister,
told her that officials were waiting for her for a review
meeting and they have to go for rehabilitation work.
He said she can first address the officials to which
Sitharaman too agreed.


However, Sitharaman noted that she was only going by the
minute-by-minute programme drawn up for her visit and she had
been following the minister in-charge and the itinerary.


"I follow the minister in charge. Central minister
follows the minister in charge here. Unbelievable! You have a
list of minute-to-minute for me to follow...I am doing as per
your schedule," she said.


Sitharaman, Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, then
sought to know how many of the officials were from the field
taking care of the rehabilitation work and said she did not
want the work to be upset.


Later, Mahesh dubbed Sitharaman's comments as a reaction
to the demand for funds from the centre to Kodagu.
"She would have known the pain had she contested election
by standing with the electorate, going to every house, meeting
voters and asked their problems. She has been elected to Rajya
Sabha from Karnataka," he told a TV channel.


The district in-charge minister said the state had
requested her that the centre should extend relief for Kodagu
just like it did for Kerala.


The torrential rains that lashed the district last week
has left a huge trail of destruction and claimed at least 17
lives. More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless.

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