New Delhi/Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Kirti Azad on Monday accused Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh of always trying to play politics when disasters hit any part of the country.
Describing Singh`s response to Sunday`sRatangarh Temple stampede in Madhya Pradesh`s Datia District as unfortunate, Azad questioned the former`s consistent desire to make political capital out of such incidents.
"I think Mr. Digvijay Singh always tries to play politics during the time of disaster at the time when we should be with the families, showing our emotions and being together sharing their grief. Mr. Digvijay Singh doesn`t lose a single opportunity to make a political statement out of disasters, which is unfortunate," he told a news agency in New Delhi.
Digvijay Singh yesterday criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh Government, and said that despite a stampede near the temple in 2006, the police and the administration were caught napping.
"Postings of collectors and SPs in districts are made on the basis of the money they fetch," Singh said.
"This is a common practice in the BJP regime and those getting postings in this fashion care two hoots for action in the event of a lapse on their part. I am told that policemen were taking Rs. 200 for letting tractor-trolleys pass the bridge, which led to the stampede," he added.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Ratangarh temple stampede in Datia district has risen to 109.
The stampede was triggered by rumours that the river bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse.
"Some people spread a rumor that the bridge was falling. Their objective was to reach the temple quickly. They were unable to go due to a massive crowd. This led to the stampede," said Deputy Inspector General Dilip Kumar Arya.
The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the untoward incident in which more than 100 people were injured on the bridge over Sindh River near Ratangarh temple.
Survivors alleged that some people spread the rumor that the bridge was on the verge of collapse, resulting in panic.
"My mother is dead and six people from my village were also killed. People were leaving from both exits after worshipping the Goddess. Suddenly, police arrived. They began shouting that the bridge had broken and they charged the devotees with batons," said Vipul Pathak, a man who lost his mother in the incident.