Adding a new twist to the tussle between BJP and Kerala government, the UAE government has confirmed to The Indian Express that they have not officially announced any amount of aid to Kerala for the floods. The UAE government added that they have constituted an emergency committee to review the situation in the state, and organise aid and relief for it.
“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,” UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna told The Indian Express. When the newspaper asked if that meant they have not announced a Rs 700 crore aid package yet, he said, “Yes, that is correct. It is not yet final. It has not been announced.”
On 21 August, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to thank UAE for Rs 700 crore that they had reportedly offered the state in aid.
BIGGEST FAKE NEWS
CM Pinarayi Vijayan informed that the United Arab Emirates will provide Kerala an assistance of ₹700 Crore. Kerala has a special relationship with UAE, which is a home away from home for Malayalees. We express our gratitude to UAE for their support. #KeralaFloodRelief pic.twitter.com/yfwbt9iEkd
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 21, 2018
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2018
Kerala CM said (Aug 21): Offer of assistance by the UAE Ruler was conveyed to him by Kerala-based business tycoon Yusuf Ali. Yusuf Ali said (Aug 23) denied it & said he would initiate legal action if his name is dragged into the controversy. https://t.co/Y7c0mkaFhR via @PGurus1
— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) August 24, 2018
Speaking to the Indian Express, Ambassador Ahmed Albanna said that the UAE has “not announced” Rs 700 crore in aid, Albanna replied in the affirmative. “Yes, that is correct. It is not yet final. It has not been announced,” he told the daily
Following these announcements, critics of the Modi government on Twitter slammed the Centre, pointing out that they have only offered Rs 600 crore in aid, whereas a foreign country has outdone it. Kerala’s finance minister Thomas Issac was especially furious and lambasted the government for its alleged apathy.