NEW DELHI: A delegation of CPI(M) comprising of Sitaram Yechury (Leader of CPI(M) Group in Rajya Sabha) and Mohd Yusuf Tarigami (Secretary of J&K State Committee and MLA,J&K) met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the afternoon on October 27 to discuss various issues with respect to providing greater and more meaningful relief to the flood-affected people in the state of J&K.

Issuing a memorandum, the delegation said that during their recent visit to the flood-hit state on October 7-9, they witnessed themselves the “pathetic condition of the people”, adding that in many places, till date, no government or any other agency has reached to provide any help or relief.

The delegation presented a series of demands and urged the Centre to seriously consider each of them.

The first and foremost demand is to immediately declare this natural disaster in the state of Jammu & Kashmir as a "national disaster" and take all the consequent measures to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation.

Further, stating that package announced by the Prime Minister is only peanuts and absolutely insufficient, they demanded that the Central government must come forward with a more comprehensive package, particularly for the rehabilitation of the people who have been completely rendered homeless and face a total uncertainty regarding their future.

Also, the business and tourism commerce has been virtually decimated in the state, particularly in the valley. It is widely known that tourism is a source of livelihood for lakhs of people in the valley, particularly in this season. It was therefore demanded that measures must be taken for revitalization of business and commercial activities while ensuring new employment opportunities for the youth.

The devastating floods ravaged much of the arable land, destroyed cattle and all standing crops, specifically in the Kashmir valley. “Immediate concrete relief measures for the farmers and adequate compensation for the loss of standing crops must be announced”, was another demand.

Additionally, the delegation stated that there was a widespread feeling and anger amongst some sections of the people with respect to the fact that offers of foreign assistance to help the victims of this disaster are not being accepted by the Central government.

It is therefore necessary that a clear statement from the Central government on this issue must come in order to scotch unnecessary speculation on this score which can be very damaging for the objective of securing the confidence of the people in the valley.

“Ironically, this is an opportunity for the Central Government and the rest of India to display their emotional connectivity with the people of the valley. This government must rise to this occasion on the lines we suggest”, the memo further read.