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Govt not doing enough: BJP

The flash floods in Uttarakhand have not only left thousands dead, many more missing and scores homeless, but also set the stage for a political drama. Anupam Trivedi reports.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2013 00:08 IST
Anupam Trivedi

The flash floods in Uttarakhand have not only left thousands dead, many more missing and scores homeless, but also set the stage for a political drama.

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairman Sonia Gandhi did an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand, BJP national president Rajnath Singh too with his battery of leaders took off for a whirlwind tour of the state.

"Uttarakhand has witnessed horrible devastation. I was told close to 5-6 thousand people have died. In such a situation, the Centre should declare it as a national calamity," Singh demanded, after returning from his tour.

He also demanded Rs 25,000 crore to be given as relief fund to the flood-ravaged state, instead of the Rs 1,000-crore package announced by the Centre.

He assured BJP-ruled states would extend all possible help required for the affected states and advised the state government to bear expenses of hotels.

Although Rajnath was 'soft' on Vijay Bahuguna government, Indra Hridyesh, finance minister in the government accepted the government was late in responding to the calamity.

"Yes we were slow and administrative machinery needed to pull strings" Hridyesh said.

Meanwhile, ministers and VIPs of Uttarakhand had a tough time at the Dehradun Helidrome where they were gheraoed by the relatives of the victims virtually roughed them up for their 'inefficiency'.

Tempers ran high as the relatives blamed the government of partiality in saving lives. They demanded to know as to why celebrities like cricketer Harbhajan Singh 'Bhajji' were given special treatment while their relatives were facing an uncertain future.