Varanasi: PM's visit cancelled due to rains, worker's electrocution

  • Pawan Dixit, Hindustan Times, Varanasi
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 14:32 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the holy city of Varanasi was cancelled for the second time on Thursday after a worker died while decorating the stage at his meeting venue and heavy rains continued to lash his constituency.

Twenty year-old Devnath, a labourer from West Bengal's Midnapore, was decorating the stage at the Diesel Locomotive Works ground from where Modi was scheduled to launch several projects and address a gathering when he was electrocuted early on Thursday.

Due to continuous rainfall since the morning electric wiring on the stage developed a technical snag leading to a flow of the current on the stage. Devnath, who was present on the stage, was electrocuted after he came in contact with the wires. He was rushed to the hospital at the Diesel Locomotive Works campus where doctors declared him dead.

The Special Protection Group, which is in charge of the PM's security, cancelled his visit and apprised the Prime Minister's Office about the incident.

Lakshman Acharya, senior RSS leader and regional president of the BJP, said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his visit after he came to know about the labourer's death."

The PM was concerned about his death and expressed his deep condolence, Acharya added.

It is for the second time in less than a month that Modi's visit to his constituency has been cancelled due to rains. This is the second time in less than a month that PM Modi's visit to his constituency has been cancelled. Modi was scheduled to visit his constituency on June 28 but could not make it due to heavy rains and waterlogging at the venue.

Modi's visit on Thursday was fixed after consulting with weather experts and keeping the monsoon in mind, which remains largely unpredictable, the Prime Minister's Office had made elaborate arrangements for the day.

This time the DLW Ground was covered with six waterproof marquees with special flooring of bricks and plywood.

The opposition attacked Modi over the cancellation of his visit and the labourer's death with the Congress party demanding a probe into the incident.

"The labourer has died due to negligence of the administration. Accountability must be fixed for his death," said Congress MLA Ajay Rai.

Rai also took a jibe at PM Modi for wastage of money in preparations for his rally at the DLW ground.

"Around Rs 9 crore was spent on setting up six waterproof pandals at the DLW ground. Who will be responsible for this waste of money?" he asked.

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