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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

MP govt's misgovernance responsible for stampede: Congress

PTI  New Delhi, October 14, 2013
First Published: 14:06 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 14:10 IST(14/10/2013)

Blaming the Madhya Pradesh government's "misgovernance" for the Ratangarh Temple stampede that left 115 people dead, Congress on Monday demanded that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan step down.


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Party spokesperson Ajay Maken said the tragedy was "man-made" which could have been stopped.

"A stampede had happened over five years ago at a similar place which left many people injured. The MP government learnt no lessons from it. Its misgovernance and rampant corruption lies at the roots of the tragedy. It should take moral responsibility and the CM should resign," Maken said.

Chouhan termed the politics over the tragedy "unwanted" and said, "The focus should be on attending to the injured and taking steps to avoid any such incidents in the future".

Maken claimed that cops present to maintain order in the place were collecting bribe of Rs. 200 from every tractor driver to drive into a no-entry-zone for vehicles. Tractors were used to ferry thousands of pilgrims.

"It cramped the entire area and it became a reason for the disaster... The MP government and the CM could not escape responsibility for such a big man-made tragedy," he said.

Party general secretary and former state CM Digvijaya Singh levelled similar allegations.

"Officials are collecting bribe under the nose of BJP leaders and no action is being taken against them," he claims.

"Reason for Ratangarh Mata disaster? Police was charging Rs. 200 from each tractor and allowing in no-traffic zone. Good Governance in MP?," he said in a tweet.

BJP leader Kriti Azad took on Singh for his attack at the MP government, saying he has a habit of doing "politics in the time of disaster".

"We should be with families (of victims), showing our emotions, sharing their grief. Singh does not lose a single opportunity to make a political statement out of such disasters," he said.

At least 115 were killed and over 100 injured when a stampede broke out during Navratri festivities near a temple in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district on Sunday.


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