The Congress on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “disrespecting” traditions during his Kedarnath visit and “misleading” the people on redevelopment work of the shrine after the 2013 deluge. The party claimed that the visit had been planned with Gujarat elections in mind and reflected Modi’s “arrogance” as he had addressed a gathering there with his back towards Lord Shiva’s shrine “while donning Italian glasses”.
It said Modi remembered ‘Mother Ganga’ only when he was contesting elections from Varanasi and had now visited Lord Shiva’s shrine ahead of Gujarat elections. Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala alleged, “Modiji has disrespected our tradition and culture by putting up a stage right outside the main entry of Kedarnath and giving his speech with his back towards Lord Shiva.”
He also said, “Speaking lies before Lord Shiva! Modiji you forgot to tell people that the Congress government at the Centre gave a redevelopment package of Rs 6,000 crore for Kedarnath in 2013.”
Congress spokesperson R P N Singh claimed there is no record of Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, doing anything for redevelopment of Kedarnath or for rescuing people during the flash floods that hit the state in 2013.
Reacting to Modi’s claims that the then Congress Government did not allow him as Gujarat chief minister to rebuild the shrine in 2013, Singh said, “It is unfortunate that arrogance marked his address at Kedarnath”. He alleged the the prime minister has misled people of the state and said when the tragedy happened, the then UPA government at the Centre set up a committee for carrying out rehabilitation work and approved Rs 8,000 crore for relief.
Speaking to reporters, Singh claimed that Rs 2,200 crore were released at that time only and in the last three years not a single penny has been released by the Modi government. Surjewala urged Modi to shun “politics of opportunism” and accused him of trying to polarise and invoke religious sentiments to win votes during Gujarat elections.
He asked whether it is only Modi who is capable of redeveloping Uttarakhand. “When the ruler turns arrogant, then his downfall is close,” he said.
He urged the Prime Minister not to disrespect people of the state and said that Lord Shiva does not seek anyone’s help, but seeks devotion. “The truth shall prevail. Modiji Lord Shiva knows everything. Should abstain from talking loud and rhetoric at the feet of the Lord,” he tweeted.
Surjewala also said that those who devote themselves to the Lord get the fruits of devotion and asked Modi “to show at least some humility” at Lord Shiva’s door.