Bangalore: The Congress on Thursday said Karnataka is facing its worst drought in more than four decades and dubbed the BJP government "irresponsible", pointing to "groupism and power struggle" in the past nine months.
Initiating a debate in the Legislative Assembly on drought and drinking water issues,Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said as of July 16 this year, Karnataka, in normal course, should have received 336 mm of rain, but it got only 191 mm.
"Rainfall deficit is more than 43 percent. 90 percent of the crops have been damaged", he said. "But in the past nine months, there has been a vertical split in the ruling party and they have been fighting for power. It`s an irresponsible government".
He said when a central team visited the State in May to assess severity of the drought, there wasn`t even a single minister or official available to brief them.
Siddaramaiah said farmers in the State are in distress, adding, if sufficient rains don`t come by this month-end, the situation in rural areas would be "unimaginable". He said the people from rural areas are migrating to other areas seeking employment while there is also fodder shortage.
Tanks have dried up in many parts of the State, and water level in reservoirs have fallen sharply, he said.
The government itself has declared 123 taluks in 24 districts as drought-hit, he pointed out. "It`s the worst drought since the year 1971", Siddaramaiah said.
Earlier, he sought to move the adjournment motion under Rule 60, while the Speaker K G Bopaiah converted it under a different rule.