Since the last few days, UAE’s aid of 700 crores for the flood-ravaged Kerala has been a hotly debated issue. Leftist-liberal mafia is outraging over the Central government’s move to decline the aid offer of UAE. But now it has come out that UAE actually never offered any such grant. UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna told The Indian Express that UAE has not made any official announcement of granting Rs 700 crore aid. He said, “The assessment of relief needed for the flood and aftermath is ongoing. Announcing any specific amount as financial aid, I don’t think it is final, since it is still ongoing.” To get some more clarity, when he was asked if he meant that the UAE had not announced Rs 700 crore in aid, he said: “Yes, that is correct. It is not yet final. It has not been announced.”
Earlier in this week, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that UAE has offered assistance of Rs 700 crore ($100 million) for flood-hit Kerala. At a press conference he said, “Today morning, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, informed our Prime Minister about their contribution for Kerala and this was conveyed to me by M.A. Yusuf Ali… We also express the gratitude of Kerala to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Emir of Dubai.” It looks like the Dubai based Keralite industrialist M.A. Yusuf Ali lied to Kerala CM.
The news of the aid had become a contentious issue in India. It divided India into two sections. One section supported taking aid from UAE while other section was in favour of rejecting the aid offer. Declining the foreign aid is India’s policy since 2004. The ministry of external affairs’ official spokesperson said, “In line with the existing policy, the Government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts. Therefore, India’s position is pretty clear as far as not accepting foreign aid is concerned.” But still, some elements with beggar mentality in the media and political circles latched on to this non-existent offer to tarnish the image of the Modi government. Even the Kerala CM also supported the idea of accepting the non-existent offer. Kerala CM is also responsible in giving rise to this aid controversy. Being a CM of the state he should not have fallen for such hearsays. Without a written offer or written assurance and official announcement from authorities, he should not have announced it in Media. His one wrong step triggered an unnecessary media controversy.
Liberal media went to the extent of claiming that the Centre was not taking aid from UAE because UAE is a Muslim country. Adding on to that charge, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, state chief of Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) alleged the NDA government’s move to decline the aid as an “act of vengeance.” Some people even used this opportunity to denigrate the Centre for its perceived anti-Kerala bias despite the fact that the Central government is doing everything for the Kerala in its difficult time. In fact, CM Pinarayi Vijayan himself has lauded the relief work initiated by the central government led by PM Modi and has appreciated his positive responses till date in an interview given to Economic Times.
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