The Narendra Modi-led government at the centre has refused to accept the Rs 700 crore donation offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Kerala flood rehabilitation, citing a policy to use only domestic funds, leaving the Kerala government and Malayalis on Twitter fuming.
According to reports, the spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said on Tuesday, "In line with the existing policy, the Government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts."
He, however, said that contributions to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund from NRIs, PIOs and international entities such as foundations would be welcome.
Appreciating offers from other countries to help in the Kerala floods, the MEA spokesperson said that the government needed to go through "domestic" efforts to help rebuild the destruction cause by the Kerala floods.
'Dog in the manger policy'
A furious Thomas Isaac, Kerala's minister of finance, took to Twitter to express his anger, and pointed out that Chapter 9 of the National Disaster Management Plan mentions that in case of a severe calamity, foreign aid could be accepted by India.
He also pointed out the that money being offered to Kerala by the centre was much less than the state had asked for.
The South Remembers
This quickly blew up into a north vs south issue with Twitter users blaming the government for only pandering to northern states for votes and ignoring the woes of the southern states in the process. Some threatened the Modi government of consequences in the 2019 elections.