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Over Rs 1,000 cr released in advance for states affected by Cyclone Fani: PM Modi

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 3, 2019  | 16:33 IST

(Eds: Updating with more details) Hindaun City (Raj), May 3 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said over Rs 1,000 crore had been released in advance for the states affected by Cyclone Fani. Addressing an election rally here, he said the government was with the people in times of crises. A detailed review meeting was held and he had been given the latest updates on Fani, Modi said as the extremely severe cyclonic storm hit Odisha on Friday morning. "Lakhs of families are affected by a cyclone in the coastal areas of Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the Centre is in touch with the state governments. I got the latest update from officers sometime ago and also held a detailed review meeting yesterday. More than Rs 1,000 crore have been released in advance," Modi told the rally in Rajasthan's Hindaun town, located in Karauli district. He added that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Indian Coast Guard, the Navy and the Army were engaged in the relief works. "I want to assure the people of the cyclone-hit states that the entire country and the Centre are standing by the affected families and the state governments," Modi said. The prime minister also ramped up his attack against the Congress, saying the party was distraught about Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar being declared as an international terrorist during the Lok Sabha election and was questioning the timing of the announcement. He alleged that the opposition party was unhappy with India's security situation. Instead of celebrating the decision of the United Nations (UN) designating the JeM chief as an international terrorist, the opposition party was questioning its timing, the prime minister said. "Should the UN ask the Congress, should it consult 'Madam' or 'Naamdar' before declaring him as a global terrorist?," he asked the gathering, in a mocking reference to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Questioning the Congress's response to the development, he said the decision on the Pakistan-based terrorist was not taken by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "India's biggest enemy, Masood Azhar, who had been wounding India for several years, was declared an international terrorist two days ago," he said. "Have I dealt with Pakistan's arrogance or not?", he asked the crowd. Claiming that the Congress was not feeling good about the better state of security in the country, Modi said the opposition party should look at his work and raise the "na-mumkin bhi ab…(mumkin hai)" (what was considered as impossible earlier has now become possible) slogan. "After the surgical strikes, the (Balakot) airstrike, the UN decision to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist is the third international strike on terrorism," he said. The prime minister said the Congress was upset about all the good developments for India, whether it was the UN decision on Azhar or awards conferred on Modi by the UAE or Russia during elections. When it came to dealing with terrorism, there was no comparison between the BJP and the Congress, he said, adding that the opposition party used to say it was not possible to prevent all terror attacks. Referring to the bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Mumbai in 2008, the prime minister asked the people to compare the situation prevailing then with today's scenario. "IPL matches were played outside the country on two occasions, in 2009 and 2014, because the government did not give permission citing elections. But now, elections are also happening and so is the IPL," he said. Modi also accused the Congress of cheating people in the name of various schemes. "In Rajasthan, people are given forms for Rs 100 for getting Rs 72,000. This is how they cheat," he charged. Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, the BJP candidates from the Karauli-Dholpur and Bharatpur seats -- Manoj Rajoria and Ranjita Koli respectively -- and other leaders were present on the occasion. Polling for 12 Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan will be held in the fifth phase of the ongoing election on May 6. The 13 other seats of the state had gone to the polls in the fourth phase on April 29 and the results will be announced on May 23. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had swept the state, winning all the 25 seats. PTI SDA RC

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