Hours before polling for the second phase of the Mandi bypoll in rain-ravaged Kinnaur district, BJP nominee Jairam Thakur has expressed fear of poll rigging.
In a hurriedly convened press conference on Wednesday in Shimla, Thakur said more than 50% of houses and orchards were damaged due to landslides in Kinnaur.
“Rain has caused extensive damage to houses across Kinnaur. Rendered homeless, people are forced to live in cowsheds. This clearly reflects the government failure,” said Thakur.
Thakur accused the government of adopting a lopsided approach towards relief works. “It's strange that a list for evacuation is being prepared by a local legislator without the consent of the deputy commissioner and genuine people were being left out,” he alleged.
It was learnt from locals that meagre immediate relief of Rs 2,000 was offered by the administration, but inhabitants refused to accept it, he added.
He accused the Congress government of non-seriousness while dealing with crisis triggered by massive landslides in the tribal district.
“It is shameful that the Mandi bypoll remained the focus of the entire Congress government, while people in Kinnaur bore the vagaries of weather,” he added.
What could be more painful than the authorities paying two hoots to the chief minister's directions to disburse relief,” he said.
He lashed out at the state government for its failure to get relief from the central government.
“The election commission should have reviewed that relief was more important than conducting the elections. Will people be able to vote in the present circumstances,” he added.
Replying to a query on the Mandi bypoll, he said the election result would be shocking for everybody and the Congress would remember it for long.