'Blame game over Uttarakhand floods must end': Digvijay Singh

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 01, 2013 13:30 hrs

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Monday asked the leaders of various political outfits to stop playing the blame game over the Uttarakhand floods, and said special emphasis must now be paid on rehabilitation and resettlement of all villages that have been swept away in the hill state.

"The blame game must end. We have successfully evacuated more than one lakh pilgrims from the affected areas. And now, the biggest challenge is that a number of villages have been swept away. So, rehabilitation and resettlement is the number one priority now," Singh told the media here.

"Instead of blaming each other and doing politics on dead bodies, we should pay now more attention to the rehabilitation and resettlement of all villages, which have been swept away," he added.

While the rescue operations in the flood-ravaged state are still underway following the unprecedented catastrophe due to flash floods and landslides, political leaders have filled the social networking sites with flaying comments.

The tweet -dialogue was initiated by a tweet from Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who hit out at senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley for not expressing sympathy or visiting disaster hit Uttarakhand.

Responding to the remark made by Tewari, Sushma Swaraj said that her party leaders felt for the people in flood affected areas and that was the reason why they had kept away from visiting those areas as it would have hampered the rescue operations.

Sushma Swaraj also criticized the Vijay Bahuguna Government in Uttarakhand.

"I am sorry to say that the Government in Uttarakhand has not been able to rise to the occasion. They ought to be dismissed for being inept and incompetent," she tweeted.

Fifteen days after floods hit Uttarakhand killing hundreds of people and sweeping away numerous houses, the evacuation of all the stranded pilgrims and tourists is likely to be over by this evening.

Over 900 pilgrims were airlifted from Badrinath and 650 pilgrims reached Joshimath on foot yesterday. Rescuers from Army are engaged in locating the stranded pilgrims as well as locals on higher reaches in Pithoragarh.

Small helicopters from the Air force and private sector have been pressed into service to drop food packets to the villages totally cut off. About 200 such villages have been identified.

Over 1,07,600 stranded people have been evacuated from the affected areas so far. (ANI)

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