As Uttarakhand battles its worst disaster in nearly 80 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party, that lost the state narrowly to the Congress in 2012 assembly polls, has pressed its Uttar Pradesh unit to assist in relief operations besides getting its UP MLAs to commit a month’s salary for disaster management. Party chief Rajnath Singh, who instructed the party to call off its jail-bharo stir on June 26, is arriving in Lucknow to flag off truck loads of relief material from the UP BJP office. The BJP is also holding a prayer meet on June 26.
UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai says he expects nearly 6-7 truck loads of relief material besides cash for the rain ravaged hill state from UP’s Awadh (that comprises Lucknow) region alone. “Our west UP unit has been asked to send relief material directly to Uttarakhand. From Agra alone party cadre have collected nearly 200 quintals of wheat,” says Bajpai.
The idea clearly is to hardsell BJP as a party that cares for the nation and rises above party considerations on such issues. It, says a source, is also to expose the “inept” handling of the post disaster scene by the Congress government in Uttarakhand.
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister turned BJP MLA from UP Uma Bharti has sought to give a new twist to the Uttarakhand catastrophe, claiming that the disaster was caused due to the removal of Dhari Devi idol from Srinagar town. Bharti, who has twice met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue, says Dhari Devi is considered to be the savior Goddess of the hill state and that’s why she had cautioned against the Congress government’s attempt to remove the idol from Srinagar town to facilitate a power project.