New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh yesterday termed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s rescue act in the devastated Uttarakhand as media exaggeration.
Media reports had earlier reported that Modi, who visited Uttarakhand late last week, had rescued 15,000 Gujaratis trapped in the hills after flash floods devastated the state in a single day.
“Modi went to Uttarakhand to express his sympathies and it is being said that he evacuated 15,000 Gujaratis from there. I talked to him and he said that he never gave any such statement,” Singh said.
The BJP chief, however, did not clarify how many Gujaratis were evacuated in Modi’s rescue act.
Besides media, Singh also blamed BJP workers for bragging and directed them not to politicise the tragedy.
BJP was ousted from power in Uttarakhand 15 months ago in a close contest by the rival Congress party.
Media termed Modi’s rescue mission and evacuation of 15,000 persons in a day as the Rambo Act, which made the Congress party accuse Modi of lying. Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh termed Modi as a habitual liar on Tuesday.
Modi was the first leader to visit Uttarakhand after aerial survey of the devastation by prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi. Modi was, however, not allowed to land at Kedarnath, seat of one of the most revered Hindu temple. Later the federal home minister imposed a blanket ban on visits of VIPs to the state, saying VIP movement hampers rescue mission.
Congress party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, however, violated the ban by visiting Uttarakhand. The party justified his visit saying he had gone there in his personal capacity and to oversee relief work being carried out by the Congress party.
Rahul’s visit to Uttarakhand was planned by the party to counter Modi considering the two leaders are expected to lock horns next year to become the next prime minister of the country in the general elections slated to be held in April-May next year.
Modi’s Rambo Act also invited criticism from ally Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray who termed Modi’s claims were not in keeping with the large new role given to him by the BJP as its election committee chairman. Thackeray later went soft on Modi fearing BJP may align with cousin Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena dumping Shiv Sena.