Kerala floods revealed two distinct ideas of India, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday the floods in Kerala revealed “two distinct ideas of India” as he met people in the districts hit hardest by the natural disaster which killed hundreds of people, left dozens missing and pushed about a million to relief camps.
“The first is one of love and compassion for all living beings, particularly in their suffering. The second is driven by hate & bigotry that is unrelenting even in the face of suffering,” Gandhi tweeted as he tagged a media report on the Kerala flood.
The Congress chief arrived in Thiruvananthapuram in the morning for a two-day visit and took a helicopter to Chengannur in Alappuzha district of the state. His first stop was the relief camp set up in the Christian College in Chengannur, where he spoke to people living there. He also visited another camp at an engineering college.
The leader of opposition in the Kerala assembly Ramesh Chennithala and Congress’ state unit president MM Hassan were among those present at the camps.
Reports said Gandhi made way for an air ambulance at the helipad in Chegannur and waited for a clearance for his plane to take off. Gandhi also spoke with the patient, who was flying out for medical assistance, they added.
Gandhi then attended the felicitation of fishermen involved in the rescue operations at Camelot Convention Centre in Alappuzha, which started with a moment of silence for the people who lost their lives in the Kerala floods. He felicitated Jaisal KP, a fisherman from Mallapuram who offered his back to people so that they could board a rescue boat, Rev Bishop Stephan Athipozi and V Dinakaran, his party said in a series of tweets.
Gandhi has been demanding that the Centre must declare the Kerala floods, the worst in a century, as a national disaster. He will also visit flood-affected areas in Wayanad district on Wednesday.
The death toll in the second spell of monsoon since August 8 which triggered disastrous landslides and floods in Kerala has risen to 302 till Sunday, the state government said. This has taken the overall toll in rain-related incidents to 474 since May 29, when the south-west monsoon had set in over the southern state. Fifteen people are missing.
There are still 4,62,456 displaced people in 1435 camps as on Sunday, according to the chief minister’s office.
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