UPA in damage control over Shinde's statement

UPA in damage control over Shinde's statement

UPA in damage control over Shinde's statement

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde might have been honest in acknowledging on Saturday that lack of coordination was hampering rescue and relief operations in flood-devastated Uttarakhand, but that invited rebuke from an embarrassed UPA government, with one of Shinde’s cabinet colleagues clarifying that all agencies are working in a “harmonious and seamless manner”.

Besides, opposition BJP also took a jibe at  tongue-tied Congress leader, terming his comment as “disappointing”.

Following Shinde’s statement, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari started his Saturday evening briefing on rescue efforts by the government by categorically emphasising that “all agencies are continuing in a coordinated manner”.

The minister said that in an “unambiguous” way he wanted to say rescue efforts are being conducted by agencies in a “harmonious and seamless manner”.

Shinde, during his visit to the state to oversee rescue operation on Saturday, had admitted  that “lack of coordination between government agencies engaged in rescue operations”.

Meanwhile, BJP president Rajnath Singh, in a statement released to the media, said that after visiting the flood-effected areas and realising the gravity of the situation, he has urged Shinde to rethink his decision not to declare it a national calamity.

The BJP has also postponed its nationwide “jail bharo” agitation, as it considers the Uttarakhand tragedy a national calamity. “BJP workers across the country are directed to stop preparation for the jail bharo agitation, and to start collecting relief material and ensure that it reaches people in Uttarakhand,” the statement said.