BJP in Kerala on Saturday said the ruling Congress led UDF cadre, who were “upset” over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to take stock of the temple firework tragedy at Kollam, was “encouraging” officials to make unnecessary statements.
Referring to the reported remark of DGP T P Senkumar that he had objected to the visiting hours of Modi after the accident, BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan said that it was difficult to believe that such a senior officer would make such a remark.
“UDF is trying to gain political mileage by asking the officials to make controversial remarks” (on Modi’s visit),” Rajasekharan told reporters here.
On Friday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that Modi’s visit was a “big relief” for the people of Kerala.
The Prime Minister came not with empty handed, but with experts in providing treatment for burn injuries, Rajasekharan said.
“The whole nation saw the Prime Minister going around the accident spot and also visiting injured at the hospitals without causing difficulties to anybody,” he said.
“It is difficult to understand why controversy has been generated over Modi’s visit which was unprecedented and also recognised by all in the state,” he said.
Modi had offered relief and assistance without putting blame for the accident on any person, he said.
Seeking action against State DGP for his statement, Rajasekharan said “Chief Minister Oommen Chandy should initiative action if government has no role in it”.
Senkumar had reportedly said he objected to the idea of Prime Minister visiting the area within 12 hours of the tragedy as the entire police force was busy in rescue and relief operations. The visit meant that they had to ensure their “safety and security” as well.
Rahul Gandhi also visited the temple site and hospitals the same day.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had sought to downplay Senkumar’s comments about VVIP visit.
The April 10 tragedy which occurred during an unauthorised display of fireworks at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi temple, had killed 108 persons and injured more than 300, who are still undergoing treatment at hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.