press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE: Politics over the Uttarakhand floods came into play as Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi ignored Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde&’s suggestion to chief ministers not to visit the flood-hit region as it hampers rescue operations.
The Gujarat Chief Minister today undertook an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by the floods. Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of the state and later met Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, along with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Dehra Dun.
Apparently keeping in mind Mr Modi’s proposed visit, Mr Shinde had said chief ministers, except that of Uttarakhand, should avoid going around the flood-affected areas because the administration would be distracted and it would hamper rescue work.
After the aerial survey, Mr Modi said “I am acquainted with this region for long as I have worked here and because of that I could gauge the scale of the tragedy, the lives of the pilgrims lost and their sufferings.”
Mr Shinde also thanked local residents for helping in rescue operations. “Local residents have come out in a big way to help stranded pilgrims. On behalf of all the pilgrims, I thank the locals, who, without thinking about whether there is food available to them and their families, came out to offer all they had to the pilgrims,”
Mr Shinde said the BJP’s demand for declaring the disaster a national calamity was driven by politics.