Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers are insensitive towards the sufferings of flood-ravaged people in the country, accused Congress on Monday. They also claimed that the ministers rushed to “engineer defections” but did not visit the flooded areas.
The Congress also accused the BJP government in Gujarat of not fulfilling its “Raj Dharma” by coming to the aid of the flood-affected people in the state. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Modi government was in “deep slumber” over human tragedy by not providing any relief to those affected and was instead indulging in “petty politicking”.
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said the flood situation in the country was serious but neither the prime minister nor any cabinet minister had visited the flood-affected areas despite almost two months since the floods began.
“When it comes to breaking governments the ministers rush to states to engineer defections, but when it comes to helping people affected due to floods then none visit the affected states, especially in the north east,” he claimed. Azad said the government uses north-east “only for political purposes” and not to provide succour to flood-affected people.
“An insipid BJP government sleeps over a human tragedy of gigantic proportions from east to west India. The central government has failed to provide relief to the affected people,” he told reporters.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP was indulging in “stealing” MLAs and instead of feeling sorry for doing something wrong, they were “exulting”.
“You cannot abduct democracy by forcibly picking up MLAs and making them resign. If the ruling party misuses muscle and money power to force MLAs to resign, then we will not allow them to do so,” Surjewala said.
“The BJP government in Gujarat is not fulfilling its Raj Dharma. What will happen to your Raj Dharma which is in power. The BJP should fulfil its Raj Dharma by helping those affected due to floods,” he said.
Azad said one crore people have been marooned across the country and an estimated 300 people have died. “Yet the BJP government makes only perfunctory voices, conducts aerial surveys and provides little relief,” he said.
Azad said that the prime minister just made an aerial survey of Gujarat, where he was the chief minister for 13 years, but did not visit the affected areas there. Asked about the BJP’s charge of absence of Gujarat Congress MLAs from the state, the Congress leader said, “They say that the Congress MLAs are not present and are instead in Bangalore.
“What was Gujarat chief minister doing when being in Gujarat he did not visit the affected areas and only kept looking at people dying, especially in the most affected Banaskantha district.”
“The MLAs not coming is the creation of the BJP. Even the chief minister has not visited Banaskantha in Gujarat. Even the central ministers, MPs of the BJP are sitting in Delhi and have not visited Gujarat. Why so?,” he asked.
Azad said in most of the cases, it was the BJP which was feeding that Congress MLAs were not on the ground to help the flood-affected people so that an atmosphere was created against them. “The ruling party is creating an atmosphere so that the Congress MLAs return and are forced to resign by the BJP,” Azad claimed.
Azad said the MLAs are individuals who represent the Congress party which was very visible and active at the block and district level. The entire party was out there in the field looking after the people who have been affected and displaced, he said.
Azad said while 128 deaths have occurred in Gujarat due to floods, 82 people died in Assam, 16 in Rajasthan, four in Himachal Pradesh, 34 in West Bengal, six in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 in Odisha and eight in Jharkhand. He also called upon the Union Health Ministry to provide medicines and relief to the affected people.