Absolutely unthinkable to demand Bahuguna's resignation: Ambika Soni

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 01, 2013 11:39 hrs

Dehradun: Congress leader Ambika Soni on Monday lashed out at BJP leader Sushma Swaraj for demanding the resignation of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.

She said the need of the hour was for leaders and activists of various political parties to unite and ensure the completion of all rescue and relief operations in flood ravaged Uttarakhand.

"In these difficult times, we have been through so many tragedies. Have you forgotten the Gujarat earthquake, the cyclone in Odisha, nobody began asking midway for the governments to be dismissed because it's not the time. The time is for providing relief and rescue. So, that is what I find absolutely unthinkable on the behalf of a big leader," she told media here.

Soni further revealed that in the initial days of the natural calamity, there was no connectivity.

" Whatever sorties were being made were made for evacuation. Evacuation was our primary concern. Therefore, nobody was allowed to get down, disembark because that would have taken time away from evacuation. So, that is why it was stopped," said Soni.

"Thereafter, the Chief Minister shave been coming to Dehradun, they have all set up their relief camps, and not only to rescue people of their states. I remember Haryana Chief Minister had given his helicopter in the service of the people who were making normal sortie," she added.

Swaraj earlier said that the Vijay Bahuguna Government in Uttarakhand has not been able to rise to the occasion.

"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 to locate 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 one lakh seven thousand and 600 stranded people have been evacuated from the affected areas so far. 

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