In spite of a strong rebuff from his Uttarakhand counterpart Vijay Bahuguna and the Congress party, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has again sent an offer and a cheque for Rs. 3 crore, besides the Rs. 2 crore his state already donated for rain disaster relief.
Modi has written to Bahuguna offering Gujarat’s services on three fronts: Medical help to the victims, contribution to the long-term process of rehabilitation and reconstruction, and developing an impressive complex at the flood-ravaged Kedarnath shrine.
Modi, criticised by the Congress and other parties for trying to be the “Rambo” of rescue, also enclosed a cheque for Rs. 3 crore.
On June 19, he had sent Rs. 2 crore to the Uttarakhand CM.
The Congress, however, quickly rebuffed him again on Wednesday.
Congress spokesperson PC Chacko said, "Modi is communalising a natural calamity. It is not his prerogative to decide what he wants to construct. The Uttarakhand CM has made it clear that the state government will urgently take up the rebuilding up of the Kedarnath temple and other affected structures."
Modi, in his latest letter, said he had seen the "massive rescue and relief operations" undertaken by the state government with the help of the armed forces for the calamity-struck people in the "devbhoomi". He wished Bahuguna success in his efforts to rebuild the state.
Explaining why he was offering help, Modi recalled that "in 2001, Gujarat had experienced a devastating earthquake leading to widespread damage. The entire country had stood with Gujarat and its people. Thus, we feel indebted to all citizens of this country. It is our national ethos and strength that during testing times, we come together and support each other".
He added: "We have gained substantial experience in the long-term process of rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the aftermath of the Gujarat earthquake, which may be of help to your administration."
With inputs from Aurangzeb Naqshbandi