Kerala vs Centre over UAE aid
Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 22
India’s refusal to accept foreign aid for relief and rehabilitation work in flood-battered Kerala has touched a raw nerve, with leaders of political parties in the state pressing the Centre to review the decision.
The issue snowballed after the Centre turned down offers of help by foreign governments owing to a stand taken by the UPA government not to accept such donations as the country had the capacity to cope with natural disasters.
On Tuesday, the UAE, where most of the expatriates are from Kerala, had offered $100 million (Rs 700 crore) as aid to the state.
Thailand’s Ambassador tweeted about India not accepting help. “Informally informed with regret that the Government of India is not accepting overseas donations for Kerala flood relief. Our hearts are with you, the people of Bharat,” Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi wrote.
The Maldives and Qatar also reportedly offered donations to India.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said if needed, he would talk to the PM who, he said, had in a tweet welcomed UAE’s gesture.