Shinde’s remark on relief efforts disappointing: BJP

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NAQVINew Delhi, June 22;Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement that lack of coordination had hampered relief efforts in Uttarakhand, the BJP on Saturday described the statement as “disappointing” and asked who was to be blamed when both the Centre and the state were being ruled by Congress.

“The statement of the Home Minister is disappointing. At this time of peril, when the people affected by this calamity need to hear words of relief from the government, contradictory remarks are being heard,” party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in New Delhi.

“To say that there is lack of coordination among the agencies is very unfortunate in itself. Uttarakhand as well as the Centre have Congress governments, so who is being accused of?” he asked.

Mr. Naqvi said that instead of taking steps to ensure better coordination, the Centre was levelling accusations at the state government.

“If there is lack of coordination, then there was a need to correct it and provide relief to the people, those who are in pain and agony should be helped, instead of the government at the Centre accusing its state government,” Mr. Naqvi said.

Mr. Naqvi’s comments came after Mr. Shinde admitted that there had been a “lack of coordination between government agencies engaged in rescue operations.”

He said locals have also been affected in Uttarakhand with entire villages swept away. Relief efforts should be made on war-footing to help them also.

Mr. Naqvi said a lot of people were dying of hunger and disease and claimed that attention was not being paid to this aspect. The BJP vice-president said rescue efforts should be made on a war-footing, something which seems to be lacking.

There have been reports that thousands have died and lakhs have been affected in the floods, he said, adding BJP president Rajnath Singh had asked workers from all BJP units, MPs and MLAs to contribute in relief efforts.

On the visit of the Gujarat Chief Minister to the flood-affected areas, Mr. Naqvi said the entire country was worried and pained at the situation in Uttarakhand and Mr. Modi also shared this feeling and has extended whatever help he could.

Asked about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement that BJP was responsible for ending its coalition with JD(U), he said, “I think the coalition has ended…. It is their right to make charges and counter charges, but not just Bihar but the people of the country know the reasons because of which he walked out of the coalition.

“And now since he has broken the coalition, he will definitely have to pay the price as well,” he said.

During the trust motion in Bihar Assembly, the Congress was seen supporting Nitish Kumar and the people had become aware of the reality, he added.

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