Cong,BJP spar as Modi visits flood-hit areas

Amid rescue efforts in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand,a war of words broke out Saturday between the Congress and BJP

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 23, 2013 1:50 am

Amid rescue efforts in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand,a war of words broke out Saturday between the Congress and BJP over VIP visits to the state and the rescue and relief operations. At the centre of the political tussle was Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state and the aerial survey he undertook of the affected areas.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde fired the first salvo in Dehradun,saying that politicians should not crowd the state and make aerial sorties. Congress leaders,including general secretary Digvijaya Singh,took on Modi directly. “At this time,we must help and evacuate people in the affected areas. This is no time to play politics. This is no time to project one self,” he said.

The BJP hit back defending not just Modi but questioning the absence of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi,who has not been seen in public since the calamity struck the state. “Rahul Gandhi is vacationing in some foreign country at such a time. This reflects his attitude towards the country,” BJP MP Yogi Adityanath said.

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi criticised Digvijaya’s remarks saying,“It is very unfortunate that Congress leaders are criticising when someone is trying to assist in relief works.”

The BJP also took a dig at the Congress after Shinde admitted there was lack of coordination in relief efforts. Naqvi said,“To say there is lack of coordination among the agencies is very unfortunate in itself. Uttarakhand and the Centre have Congress governments,so who is being accused here?” Earlier that day,Modi undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas. “There is a need of food,medicines and rescuing those who are stranded there… Visited a relief camp in Dehradun. Now,I will visit relief camp set up by the Government of Gujarat in Haridwar…,” he tweeted.

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