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Indian Opposition Calls for Drought Relief Measures

With India reeling under drought and mounting heat-related deaths, opposition parties on Wednesday demanded that the government take immediate relief measures on a war footing and a convene a meeting of all chief ministers to address a “national crisis”.

More than 200 suspected heat-related deaths have been reported in Odisha and Telangana alone, two of the worst hit states.

Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress party said, “The minister should lay out their short, medium and long term programmes since the monsoon is still two months away. Shouldn’t the Prime Minister call for a meeting with Chief Ministers and shouldn’t this be treated like a national crisis. This is a national crisis and the opposition will stand with you. The government needs to wake up or the situation will turn very grim in the country.”

Initiating the debate in the upper house, Sharad Pawar, president, Nationalist Congress Party said, “It is true that the situation in Latur is serious as is being talked about, but there are several other states that have declared droughts in the country and they need attention.” The former agriculture minister highlighted that more than 200 water management projects in five states were lagging behind and the government needed to focus on these.

Daniel Bacchuber

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