Cong Seeks Relief Package for Flood-hit Himachal; Says PM Should Keep Politics Aside in Granting Funds


Submerged Panchvaktra Temple in swollen Beas river due to heavy monsoon rainfall, in Mandi district (PTI Photo)

As torrential rains hit states killing several people, the Congress called upon the prime minister to provide a package from the PM Cares Fund and not see which party was in power in the affected states

The Congress on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a relief package for Himachal Pradesh and other rain-affected states, adding that he should not see politics while distributing such funds as it is not good for a democracy.

As torrential rains hit states killing several people, the Congress called upon the prime minister to provide a package from the PM Cares Fund and not see which party was in power in the affected states. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Centre to make available additional relief from the PM CARES Fund for states affected by the torrential rain pounding several parts of north India, including Himachal Pradesh.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said crores are lying in PM Cares and many domestic and foreign companies have contributed it and so have government employees with their one-day salaries and dearness allowances.

He asked why Modi is not using that money to provide relief to the states battling rain woes.

”Why doesn’t the prime minister give a special relief package to the Himachal Pradesh government? Will politics be seen here as to which party is ruling… and after seeing which party chief minister is there and only after that the relief package will be given,” he asked.

”The prime minister always says there is opportunity in disaster, but finding political opportunity in a disaster is wrong. This is not good for the democracy. We have always done this by forgetting politics in disasters and we expect Modi to also forget the political differences in this disaster and provide money to those states from the PM Cares Fund,” Vallabh told reporters.

He said if that money cannot be used for flood relief, then what use is it for India.

The Congress leader said news is coming that the situation in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand as well Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Jharkhand is not good.

Kharge said he spoke to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu after the death of several people in north India due to heavy rains. He termed the deaths as sad and painful.

”Relief efforts in the state have picked up and every effort is being made despite bad weather, to take people affected by heavy rains to safer places,” Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.

”The central government is also urged to make available additional relief funds from the PM Cares Fund to Himachal Pradesh and other states,” he said.

He said teams of the State Disaster Response Force and National Disaster Response Force teams are doing this work.

Adequate compensation will be given to the victims and all possible help will be given to compensate for the loss of life and property, the Congress chief said.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also spoke to Sukhu, and enquired about the flood situation and relief work.

Several rivers, including the Yamuna in Delhi, in north India are in spate. In cities and towns across the region, many roads and residential areas were submerged in knee-deep water with the civic system unable to hold on in the face of record rains on Sunday.

In Himachal Pradesh, 765 roads, including the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway, were closed following heavy rain. Hundreds of people are stranded in different parts of the state, including in Chandratal in Lahaul and Spiti and near Sadhupul in Solan district.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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