Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: At a time when almost every prominent politician has expressed concern over the devastating floods in Uttarakhand and other parts of north India, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s absence and complete silence over the tragedy has led to sharp criticism.
The social networking website, Twitter has been abuzz with Rahul Gandhi jokes expressing disappointment over his disappearance at the time of such a big tragedy.
Earlier, also Rahul Gandhi had faced criticism for maintaining silence over issues like Lokpal Bill and December 16 gang-rape.
Congress leader Raj Babbar on Friday sought to downplay questions about Rahul Gandhi`s absence from the country as well as his no public response when such a tragedy has taken place in the country.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of rain-ravaged areas in Uttarkhand where flash floods have claimed over a hundred lives and left thousands of pilgrims for Himalayan shrines stranded.
The death toll in flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand crossed 550 yesterday and was expected to rise today as an eight-member team of experts is being sent to Kedarnath shrine to take a count of bodies lying in the temple area.
The government today decided to step up rescue operations in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand as more rains are predicted for Monday.
Uttarakhand saw over 60 hours of continuous and heavy rains coupled with few incidents of cloudbursts at various locations June 14 to 17, which led to the flooding of the state`s main rivers: Alaknanda and Bhagirathi.