press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 23 JUNE: Accusing Mr Narendra Modi of politicising the Uttarakhand tragedy, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today said that after making a “tourist detour” via the deluge-hit state, some people were tom-tomming “myths” that they had rescued thousands of people.
“It is indeed unfortunate that when a part of India is trying to grapple with a natural disaster, there are some people who are absolutely unabashed in politicising it. They had to go to Pathankot so they make a tourist detour via Uttarakhand and then started claiming, that solo, they were able to rescue 15,000 people,” Mr Tewari said in an apparent reference to Mr Modi.
“If someone can put out such myths, I leave it to the people of the country, how reliable are their utterances and how profound are their achievements,” he said. The minister was referring to reports which said Mr Modi, on his trip to Uttarakhand, had with the help of a team of his officials managed to evacuate 15,000 people from the deluge-affected areas of the hill state.
He also took pot-shots at the Gujarat CM, saying his criticism of the UPA government’s Bharat Nirman campaign reflected that the Opposition was scared.
“The Bharat Nirman campaign has indeed hit where it hurts. And the hurt manifest themselves whenever the chief minister of Gujarat speaks. He has only seen phase-I of Bharat Nirman, there are other phases coming,” Mr Tewari said.
In his speech at Pathankot this afternoon, Mr Modi took a dig at the Bharat Nirman advertising campaign run by the UPA government on various TV channels.
“The advertisement said ‘bharat ke nirman pe haq hai mera’ (I have a right to India’s development). I say ‘bharat nirman pe shaq hai mera’ (I have doubts over India’s development),” Mr Modi had said.
Mr Tewari told reporters here, “…If somebody wants to become a Rambo and claims that he alone in a span of two days during a trip of disaster tourism brought out 15,000 people, I am afraid for the lack of a better word, it just reflects rank opportunism and sheer desperation to try and politicise and even milk a tragedy for political reasons.”