New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday ordered immediate release of Rs 939.63 crore as financial assistance for rain-battered Tamil Nadu.

Modi’s order came within hours of Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s letter reaching him, pegging the damage at Rs 8,481 crore. She urged Modi to immediately release Rs 2,000 crore to sustain relief work. More than 160 lives have been lost in various rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu since October 1.

Jayalalitha told the prime minister that despite her government’s preventive efforts, the state had suffered severe damage on account of the “extremely heavy and sustained” rainfall which had left a trail of destruction.

With 37 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 12 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, the AIADMK is the third largest party after the BJP and the Congress. The government is counting on support from Jayalalitha’s support for passage of key reform bills like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill. Also, Tamil Nadu goes to polls in April-May next year.

A Central team is also being deputed to Tamil Nadu to assess the damages and further action will be taken after the team submits its report, an official statement said.

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