BJP President Rajnath Singh sought to put an end to the controversy around the report on a rescue act of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, which said the latter evacuated 15,000 Gujaratis in just 48 hours with his strong disaster management team. Rajnath rubbished the report, saying Narendra Modi never gave any such statement.
“Narendrabhai had gone to Uttarakhand to sympathise with the victims and provide assistance to the state government during the time of disaster. He never intended to take credit from that. I talked to him today. He denied giving any such statement that is doing the round in the media,” said Rajnath, who also asked the party cadres not to politicise the relief operation and focus on the real work.
In a meeting held in Ahmedabad on the rescue and relief work, Modi clearly said that 6,000 Gujaratis have returned home so far, while 2,500 are on the way. He also said that 100-odd people from Gujarat are still stranded in Uttarakhand.
The Congress, which has been on a back foot on Uttarakhand, did everything possible to negate the “Modi Impact”. First, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde did not allow Modi’s chopper to land in the affected area when the latter visited Uttarakhand three days after the disaster.
When Modi offered Rs 2 crore assistance to Uttarakhand, the Congress leaders launched an offensive, criticising him. Modi later increased the aid to Rs 5 crore. The Congress also put the relief materials outside the Congress Headquarters in Delhi for three days to wait for Rahul Gandhi, who was away in Spain on a holiday tour. Later, Rahul and Sonia flagged off the relief trucks.
If that was not enough, Rahul was sent to Uttarakhand on the same day and even allowed to travel and land using a helicopter. Rahul was also provided high security at a time when the security personnel were involved in a high-profile rescue operation. Home Minister Shinde was at a loss for words and had to say that anybody can visit Uttarakhand now. AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh created a flutter when he claimed that Rahul did not use a chopper during Uttarakhand visit.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, under pressure from the central leadership, blocked other state governments from doing the rescue and relief work on their own. The target was Gujarat Government and Narendra Modi. Bahuguna also rejected Modi’s offer to send 24 helicopters, saying they did not have enough flying space. Later, the Uttarakhand CM rejected Modi’s proposal to re-build Kedarnath Dham, saying his government is in a position to do that.
The Congress did everything possible to block one man – Narendra Modi from getting any mileage from Uttarakhand disaster. But, in this process, it flouted and twisted the rules, making a mockery of its own policies and strategies. Whether it’s BJP or Congress, the country least expects politicisation of Uttarakhand tragedy from them.