Press Esc to close
Wednesday 27 July 2016
News updated at 3:04 PM IST
Weather
Max: 29.1°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Congress downplays Rahul's absence from Uttarakhand

New Delhi, June 21, 2013, (IANS)
Rahul Gandhi. PTI File Photo.

The Congress Friday downplayed the absence of party vice president Rahul Gandhi when a major tragedy has struck Uttarakhand and said the party's top leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chief Sonia Gandhi, were monitoring the rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit hill state.
"It should not matter who has gone (to flood-hit areas) and who has not. The focus should be on rescue and relief operations. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi are monitoring the situation. VIP visits hamper relief operations. Rahul Gandhi has not visited Uttarakhand keeping this in mind. He will visit as soon as the situation improves," Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar told reporters when asked about Rahul Gandhi's absence when both the party and the government are busy battling the massive tragedy.

Rahul Gandhi is reportedly out of the country.

Babbar said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would visit the flood-hit areas Saturday.

Both the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi had conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand Wednesday.

"Sonia Gandhi has asked all Congress MPs to donate Rs.10 lakh each from their development fund for relief measures for Uttarakhand. This needs the permission of the Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar," said Babbar.

"A similar contribution is being planned from the party's legislators in the various states," he added.

Gandhi has also asked the Congress Seva Dal to set up two relief camps in Dehradun to coordinate the relief material coming from party units in various states.

"The entire focus is on rescue and relief operations before the weather worsens," said Babbar.The met department has predicted heavy rains in the hill state June 23 onwards, which could impact the ongoing relief operations.

However, while focussing on the rescue and relief operations, the Congress spokesperson said the party would "ask questions and find out" if there were any lapses by the state government in responding to the met department's warnings of heavy rains there.

He added that keeping in mind that the region received around 375 percent more rainfall than the average, any disaster management system would have failed to cope with the massive tragedy.

Some 50,000 people are still stranded in the calamity-hit areas of Uttarakhand. The death toll so far is 207 "but more people could be buried in the debris", Shinde said Friday.

More than 34,000 people have been evacuated from Uttarakhand so far, he said.

Thousands are said to be missing in the state after unprecedented rains and cloudbursts led to landslides and flash floods.

Shinde said that according to a preliminary report, two cloud bursts in the area started the disaster.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Army personnel pay tribute to jawans who died in Kargil War on Kargil Vijay Diwas in Kozhikode on ..

Army personnel pay tribute to jawans who died in Kargil War on Kargil Vijay Diwas in Kozhikode on ..

Specially abled kids from Om Creations Trust (NGO) make handcrafted rakhis as part of a campaign ...

Specially abled kids from Om Creations Trust (NGO) make handcrafted rakhis as part of a campaign ...

Punjab Police and BSF Jawans patrol after they captured suspected terrorists in Jalandhar's Khurla..

Punjab Police and BSF Jawans patrol after they captured suspected terrorists in Jalandhar's Khurla..

A couple carry their mother Runuka Devi on a palanquin to Gola Gokarannath from Kachla Ganga Ghaat..

A couple carry their mother Runuka Devi on a palanquin to Gola Gokarannath from Kachla Ganga Ghaat..

Police fire tear gas shells to disperse the rally, taken out from downtown city, on way to Lal ...

Police fire tear gas shells to disperse the rally, taken out from downtown city, on way to Lal ...

Members of National Human Rights and crime control organisation paying tributes to the soldiers ...

Members of National Human Rights and crime control organisation paying tributes to the soldiers ...

Policemen stands guard at Budshah Chowk after the 17-day old curfew was lifted in Srinagar on ...

Policemen stands guard at Budshah Chowk after the 17-day old curfew was lifted in Srinagar on ...

Vendors sell fruit at M A Road after curfew was lifted after 17-day in Srinagar on Tuesday...

Vendors sell fruit at M A Road after curfew was lifted after 17-day in Srinagar on Tuesday...

Legendary Santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma being felicitated during an event...

Legendary Santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma being felicitated during an event...

Members of the Indian archery team, the first to reach Brazil for the upcoming Olympics...

Members of the Indian archery team, the first to reach Brazil for the upcoming Olympics...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523