Uttarakhand floods: Congress rejects BJP's charge



New Delhi: Congress on Thursday rejected BJP's charge that the flash flood in Uttarakhand is a result of "mis- governance" and "abuse and misuse of the system" and pointed out that the state was being ruled by the opposition party before Congress came back to power there.

Amid growing demands to declare floods and landslide disaster in Uttarakand a national calamity, Congress said that it is under serious consideration of the government.

"Government is seriously considering it. Government has to take a decision," party spokesperson PC Chacko said when pointed out that BJP and some other parties are in favour of declaring it a national calamity.

He said the party has "not made any recommendation" as these things are decided by the government.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had yesterday said the "abuse and misuse of the system is basically causing damage to the governance structure of the country" and claimed that what has happened in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi also is a result of "mis- governance".

She had also said there was no early warning system and alleged the guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have been violated.

Congress spokesperson PC Chacko, however, said "natural calamity of this magnitude are beyond prediction" and that steps that can be taken based on the warnings were taken.

"We came to power in Uttarakhand recently. How were we accountable? The opposition party was in rule before us. What did they do? We do not politicise the matter as we understand that in every state there are some developmental aspirations.

"Probably there were some instances when some advices would have been ignored. There actually needs to be a balance," Chacko said amid criticism from certain quarters that the Congress government in Uttarakhand did not take into account the issue of ecological balance.

In a release, AICC Communication Department in-charge Ajay Maken said party chief Sonia Gandhi will be visiting relief camps and other affected areas very soon.

PTI