Trivandrum: UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Albanna, yesterday, claimed that there has been no official announcement on the aid of Rs. 700 crore from the UAE government to the victims of Kerala floods as it was claimed by Kerala CM Pinrayi Vijayan.
“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,” Albanna said.
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.”
On August 21, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said: “The UAE government is willing to help us. The crown prince, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Al Nahim, has spoken to our PM yesterday. UAE has decided to help Kerala with $100 million. These facts were communicated to Keralite M A Yousaff Ali when he met Shaikh Mohammed Bin Al Nahim today to convey Eid wishes.”
Kerala BJP chief PS Sreedharan Pillai addressed a press conference on Friday he lashed out at the opposition for ‘attacking’ the Modi government over its refusal to accept the supposed aid. Pillai said, “We want Vijayan to explain about this news and from where he received it. After the Centre expressed reservations in accepting the aid, a vicious smear campaign was unleashed against the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Pillai also asserted that no Central government, except for the Modi government, had provided so much help to a state, news agency IANS reported. He further said, “He came and assessed the flood situation. Despite bad weather, he got in a helicopter and surveyed the destruction. Such is his commitment.”