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When Nirmala Sitharaman lost her cool at Karnataka Minister

The whole episode started when Sitharaman was interacting with a group of flood-affected people and Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh told the Defence Minister that the officials were waiting for her for a review meeting after which they had to go for rehabilitation work.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: August 26, 2018  | 00:11 IST
When Nirmala Sitharaman lost her cool at Karnataka Minister

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday lost her cool over her itinerary during a visit to the flood-hit Kodagu district in Karnataka. The whole episode started when Sitharaman was interacting with a group of flood-affected people and Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh told the Defence Minister that the officials were waiting for her for a review meeting after which they had to go for rehabilitation work. Mahesh's constant reminders did not go down well with Sitharaman.  

When the Karnataka Minister said that she can first address the officials, Sitharaman agreed but she was visibly upset and said, in a rather angry tone, that she was only following 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," Sitharaman said. She 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.

Watch the video here:

However, Karnataka Minister Mahesh dubbed Sitharaman's comments as a reaction to the demand for funds from the centre to Kodagu.

During her visit to Karnataka, Defence Minister Sitharaman interacted with children, youth and their families sheltered in flood relief camp in Kodagu. She also assured to take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other central ministers concerns about the restoration work of roads, telecommunication network and other infrastructure, badly affected by the heavy rains that triggered landslides and floods in the district.

More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless in Kodagu district due to recent torrential rains.

Speaking on relief package, the Defence Minister said the Centre's relief and rehabilitation package would be announced after assessment by a team of officials. She declined to make any guesses on how much relief package was expected from the centre.

"It would not be wise on my part to second guess what centre can give and what centre cannot give...But once the team comes and makes an assessment into which all your (state) inputs will also be taken, and with your inputs, the central assessment team can come up with a figure," Sitharaman said.

The Minister later announced a Rs 1 crore aid from her MPs constituency development funds and Rs 7 crore from Corporate Social Responsibility funds of Defence PSUs for flood and landslide relief work.

(With inputs from PTI)

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