New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have announced Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the Pratapgarh ashram but Mayawati, the Chief Minister of the state where the accident happened says she has no money to offer to the victims.
Rs 2000 crore have been spent on building the statues of Dalit icons, but there is no money to help those who died in the Pratapgarh stampede.
In a press release issued on Friday night the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the state will not be able to provide compensation to the victims due to financial constraints.
Instead it has asked the Central Government to provide funds to compensate the victims and while putting the ball in the Central Government's court the Uttar Pradesh government has said in case the Centre is unable to give assistance only then will the state government help the victims.
The UP government is clear in saying that under the present provisions of the Central Relief Fund, relief can be provided in case of a natural calamity only.
Mayawati has directed her party MPs to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and request him to change the provisions of the CRF to include compensation to victims of such unfortunate incidents as well.
Mayawati's statement has left the Congress fuming.
"As far as Centre is concerned, Prime Minister will do whatever he can without anybody asking for it. As for the state it is for the people of the state and that state government to see," said Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.
While the blame game continues, who really is responsible for the Pratapgarh mishap?
A preliminary inquiry by Allahabad Commissioner Ajay Kumar Upadhyaya has held Kripaluji Maharaj Ashram authorities responsible.
The inquiry report says that organisers had not made proper arrangements for controlling the crowds at the gate of the ashram.
The UP government though has not taken any action against the ashram as yet.