Punjab will send to the Centre an estimate of losses caused by the floods in the state, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said on Thursday, but will not beg for any financial package.
Mann also accused the opposition parties in the state of indulging in politics over a natural calamity.
The Punjab chief minister on Thursday took stock of the flood situation in the affected parts of Patiala and Sangrur.
Speaking to reporters in Patiala, the district hit hardest by the flooding, Mann said the state will not beg for any financial assistance from the Centre but will send an estimate of the losses.
He said the floods have caused huge damage to the state and an assessment will be made in the coming days.
Asked if Punjab has sought any flood relief package from the Centre, Mann said the losses are still being assessed.
He said it is alright if the Centre helps the state, adding that Punjab is capable of managing on its own otherwise.
"We are yet to assess the losses," he said, adding, "If they (the Centre) have to give (any package), they may, but we are not going to beg," he said.
The recent downpour in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and heavy rain in the state severely hit Punjab.
Mann said he is constantly monitoring the situation and has directed the officials in the affected areas to extend all possible help to the people.
Hitting back at rival parties that targeted the AAP government for its alleged lack of planning and preparation, Mann said his current priority is to take care of the people who are in need.
He slammed the opposition for politicising a natural disaster and said he is busy ensuring relief for the people and will give a befitting reply at an appropriate time.
"It is my promise … I will reply to you after some days and then you will run away from a debate," said the chief minister.
"They are in the habit of doing politics with everything. Floods, rains, clouds, all these are Bhagwant Mann's creations, they will say. My priority right now is to look after my people," said Mann.
Mann alleged that the opposition leaders never bother about Punjab but always try to get political mileage even when Punjabis are suffering.
The chief minister said even advanced countries face problems of flooding and added that nature has played havoc with the state.
Those who are boasting that the Centre has released Rs 218 crore from the disaster relief fund must remember that it was issued on July 10, he said.
The state government cannot spend this amount in 72 hours, Mann added.
The AAP leader said the government had taken preventive measures -- the Ghaggar river was cleaned well in advance like other drains and rivulets -- otherwise the damage could have been worse.
Haryana and Himachal Pradesh always demand water and cess from the state, Mann said and asked if these states will be ready to take excess water from Punjab, many parts which are submerged.
"These states are always ready to ask for more share, why not now?" Mann asked.
"Let Haryana ask for its share now. Himachal is seeking cess. What about the water which we get from the hills (due to excess rain)?," said Mann and asked if Punjab is only meant to absorb the excess water.
The Punjab chief minister said special thrust is being laid to ensure relief in the worst-affected areas so that people do not face any problems.
Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, the Congress' Punjab unit chief, on Thursday launched a counter attack on Mann after the chief minister attacked the opposition.
Warring said the AAP dispensation is not running the state with a policy.
"You are running the stage and we, sorry, are not clowns," Warring said in a tweet in Punjabi.
"You are responsible for the situation in Punjab today because you did not make any plan to deal with the floods despite the warning of the Meteorological Department," the Congress leader said.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal appealed to Mann to take corrective steps to mitigate the sufferings of the people "instead of relying on propaganda to give the impression that all concerns in the wake of damage and destruction to dwellings and fields had been addressed".
Speaking to reporters at Basti Ram Lal in the Ferozepur Urban constituency, the Akali Dal leader said, "I don't want to get into politics. My only issue is timely provision of relief to those suffering due to incessant rain and the resultant flooding."
Badal, who toured the flooded areas in the Ferozepur Urban, Ferozepur Rural and the Guruharsahai constituencies, said, "There is a shortage of drinking water, dry rations, milk and green fodder for milch animals. I have witnessed women writhing in pain because they are unable to get medical attention."
Badal, who also visited areas along the barbed-wire fence close to the border with Pakistan, said people complained that all gates of the Harike barrage were opened at the instance of an AAP leader, leading to flooding of villages downstream.
The BJP's Punjab unit had earlier also targeted the AAP government for its alleged lack of planning and preparation.
Sunil Jakhar, the party's Punjab unit chief, had said, "Lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude of the state government has visibly worsened the flood situation in most parts and the people of Punjab are being made to face hardships for no fault of theirs."
-With PTI Input