Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured a delegation of Kerala MLAs “all possible help and support” to the flood-ravaged Kerala.
Speaking to media after a meeting with Singh, former Kerala chief minister A.K. Antony said, “Rajnath Singh assured that the Centre will make all efforts to provide maximum support and help to Kerala.”
Antony, who is an MLA from Kerala’s Kothamangalam, further said that they have urged the Home Minister to amend the External Affairs Ministry’s policy which does not allow Kerala to receive donations from the foreign countries.
“Many foreign governments are expressing their willingness to help Kerala in this hour of crisis. But we are unable to receive aid because of the External Affairs Ministry’s policy. I requested the Home Minister to change this rule at least for this calamity,” he said.
As a goodwill gesture, a couple of countries had announced assistance for Kerala.
Antony also called upon the Centre for more financial assistance and said, “Centre has already given us assistance of Rs 600 crores but we need funds amounting to Rs 20,000 crore as the state has recorded a loss, as high as Rs 40,000-50,000 crore.”
He also urged the Centre to provide free rice to fishermen as a gift, citing that they have rescued 70,000 people stranded in parts of the state, where Army and Navy were unable to reach.