BJP MP demands white paper on Uttarakhand natural disaster

Contending that the full magnitude of last year`s natural disaster in Uttarakhand has not come out in the open yet, a BJP MP, who had a close shave in the incident, today demanded a white paper on the tragedy and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "intervene" in the matter to find out the truth.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 16, 2014, 17:56 PM IST

New Delhi: Contending that the full magnitude of last year`s natural disaster in Uttarakhand has not come out in the open yet, a BJP MP, who had a close shave in the incident, today demanded a white paper on the tragedy and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "intervene" in the matter to find out the truth.

On the first anniversary of the natural disaster, which according to official figures left 3178 persons dead with many more still missing, Ashwini Choubey alleged the numbers provided by the Congress-led state government was nothing but a "pack of lies".

"More than 50,000 people would have died," he claimed adding a thorough search of the disaster-struck region even now would uncover numerous bodies.

Choubey, who was Health Minister in Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government and won the Lok Sabha election from Buxar, was on Char Dham yatra with his family in Uttarakhand when torrential rains had struck and they were rescued later.

"I demand a white paper on the entire issue. Who died, who are all missing? Did the state government do the DNA profile of the dead? Thousands of crores of rupees came from officials, individuals and non-government bodies. What happened to them"? he said.

As a victim, I will urge the Prime Minister, who understands the gravity of the issue, that he should take the lead in the matter so that people know the truth.

He claimed there were over 5000 people with him around a temple where they had taken shelter and not more than 50-60 of them survived.

Flash floods and landslides had hit the Himalayan state when the annual pilgrimage was underway, catching thousands of pilgrims and locals unawares and the then Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna was accused of failing to carry out effective relief and rescue measures. He was later replaced.