Achuthanandan criticises Pawar’s attitude towards Kerala

April 17th, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Thiruvananthapuram, April 16 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Wednesday criticised Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s attitude towards the state on the issue of price rise and allocation of food grains. Achuthanandan had led a delegation to New Delhi that met Pawar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil to brief them about the economic situation in Kerala and inflation.

“The multi-party delegation, which included members from the opposition, first met Pawar and briefed him about the current situation in Kerala where the price of rice and essential commodities has shot up due to the unfavourable policies of the central government. But he blamed us instead,” he told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting that was held after he returned from New Delhi.

The delegation from Kerala, which included leader of opposition Oommen Chandy, was in the capital Tuesday to apprise the government of the immediate assistance required as unseasonal rains had damaged thousands of hectares of crops. They also demanded immediate allocation of rice to be given to above poverty line (APL) card holders.

“When we asked for an immediate allotment of food grains in the APL category, Pawar said that the shortage was because the previous Congress government had not taken the allotted supplies. When I pointed out that Kerala now has a Left government, he said that governments have an uninterrupted tenure,” Achuthanandan said.

Food grains from the central quota, which used to be around 131,000 tonnes per month for Kerala, to be distributed in the APL category have been cut by 86 percent by the central government.

However, Achuthanandan had no complaints with the prime minister and home minister.

“When we met Manmohan Singh, it was really reassuring to hear from him that Kerala would not suffer. The home minister also had the same attitude,” he said.

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