Kerala floods: Tharoor knocks UN door for aid, sparks row in India

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 22, 2018 10:26 hrs
Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: A day after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he was in Geneva to meet United Nations' officials and international humanitarian agencies and is in close consultation with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the CM said that Tharoor leader was in Geneva in his personal capacity and not on official calling.

On Monday, Tharoor in a tweet said that he landed in Geneva to meet with the UN and other agencies for consultations on Kerala floods.

Tharoor, although said that seeking help was the prerogative of the Government of India, said that he was in close consultation with CM Vijayan to explore what help could be possible if sought.

However, the Kerala Chief Minister on Tuesday when was asked about Tharoor's visit to the UN said that the Congress leader was not an emissary of the Kerala government.

Tharoor's constituency Thiruvananthapuram is among the places that have been least affected by the floods that claimed over 350 lives since May.

Kerala as an independent state cannot avail aid directly from the UN. Such aid can only be accessed with the intervention of the Central government.

The Centre reportedly rejected any UN support for the state.

News reports stated that the External Affairs Ministry had informed UN that the Indian government was able to manage the relief activities in the flood-hit state.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s information technology cell head Amit Malviya was close on heels of this controversy and took to Twitter asking why Tharoor lied to the public if he wasn’t an envoy of the Kerala CM to the United Nations and does not have the authority to speak on behalf of the government.

Malviya further went on to ask if the Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram had kept the Ministry of External Affairs in the loop about his trip.

Kerala, ravaged by floods, is limping back to normalcy. The state witnessed massive destruction which resulted in the death of over 350 people.

The government along with some NGOs are trying to help Kerala get back on track by organising relief camps and providing medicines, food, clothes, and shelter to the flood victims.