The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that human skeletons of those killed in last year's floods now being unearthed in Uttarakhand's temple town, Kedarnath are "tell-tale signs" of the Congress' failure to tackle rehabilitation and reconstruction issues, post the deluge.
"The way the skeletons of those killed in flood-hit Kedarnath are being discovered, buried under the rubble of the destroyed houses is an eloquent testimony of how the Congress government has failed," alleged BJP's national secretary Trivendra Singh Rawat.
"We, therefore, demand that the Rawat government release a full-fledged white paper on its initiatives relating to the rehabilitation and reconstruction issues, post the flash floods," he told a press conference here on Friday.
"What expectations can you have from a government that failed to ensure even the last rites of those thousands lost to the flash floods," Singh asked.
"The government could neither have the last rites performed of those who met the tragic end…Nor did it ensure that the DNA samples were taken from the skeletons so that the families of those washed away by the deluge could identify their dead," the BJP leader alleged.
"All that the (Congress) government did was to hide those human remains behind curtains and in polythene bags," Rawat said referring to arrangements made by the government headed by former CM Vijay Bahuguna to curtain the festering bodies of the disaster-hit people from the public gaze while resuming the char dham pilgrimage last year.
"Can human skeletons be hidden from public eye like this?" asked Singh.
The BJP leader demanded that the Congress immediately rope in experts accustomed to working in high altitudes to "sanitise the disaster-hit Kedarnath".
Singh, however, hit out at the Rawat government for "trying" to defame him in the multi-crore 'seeds scam' that allegedly took place in 2010 when he (Singh) was the state agriculture minister in the erstwhile BJP
The scam probed by the Tripathi commission came to light recently.
Singh suggested that he wasn't involved in the scam and claimed that the Rawat government was trying to defame him by getting the Tripathi commission report selectively leaked to a section of the media.
"If this (Rawat) government doesn't mend its ways, I will file a defamation suit against it," Singh warned.
He, however, accused CM Rawat of trying to tarnish his (Singh) image because "he (CM) has somehow assumed I might contest the soon to be held Doiwala assembly by-poll which the CM is also likely to contest to enter the state assembly."
Ever since he took over as the CM on February 1 following a change of guard in the state, Rawat is yet to get elected as a member of the state assembly.
It is, therefore, constitutionally obligatory for the CM to win an assembly by-poll by July end when he would be completing six months in office.