A senior Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, now camping in Uttarakhand with 25 officials and doctors, has denied reports that chief minister Narendra Modi had offered choppers for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected.
“There is nothing like that (offering choppers to Uttarakhand). Now the scale of rescue work has minimised and the Air Force is making efforts to evacuate the stranded pilgrims from Badrinath and Harsil,” said principal secretary (Gujarat) PK Parmar, who is based in Dehradun’s secretariat.
Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) is plying two helicopters and one regional jet to airlift pilgrims.
“Choppers provided by other governments have been of great help to us,” said G Seetaiah, chief engineer, civil aviation (Uttarakhand).
Yashwant critical of parochialism
Amid severe criticism of Modi by the Congress and many observers over reports that he had rescued 15,000 Gujaratis from Uttarakhand, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha added fuel to the fire by saying that relief work should be free from parochialism.
“We should not introduce parochialism (like) … some chief minister is going and rescuing people from (his) state,” he said.
“If one is a national leader, one should be concerned about everyone from any part of the country.”
Giving an example, he said if he was rescuing a person from Jharkhand and a Bengali or a person from any another state was standing next to him, he would not leave him to his fate.
Asked whether his criticism was aimed at the Gujarat chief minister, he replied, “I am talking about everyone.”
(with New Delhi inputs)