Top BJP Leaders Did Not Visit Flood-Hit U'khand: Bahuguna

Top BJP Leaders Did Not Visit Flood-Hit U'khand: Bahuguna

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna today hit out at Bhartiya Janata Party saying the party had no moral right to criticize the state government for its handling of the calamity that struck last year, as its own top leaders did not visit the disaster-hit areas.

"Be it L K Advani or Sushma Swaraj, none of them visited the disaster hit areas. Though Narendra Modi did meet me in Dehradun twice as I was the CM at that time, he was only concerned about the pilgrims from Gujarat stranded in the high altitude areas and not the disaster-hit people in general," Bahuguna told reporters here.

"A party which could not identify with the pain of the people who suffered in the tragedy has no moral authority to speak against the state government which did all it could, to alleviate their suffering," he said.

The former chief minister said the principal opposition party did not approach the state government with any specific complaints about alleged irregularity in distribution of compensation among victims, adding that, only unfounded allegations were made against his government.

Bahuguna underlined the words of appreciation by BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu who headed a joint parliamentary committee and praised the state government for its reconstruction efforts in affected areas.

"That shows the BJP is indulging in pure mudslinging for electoral gains," he said.

Accusing BJP leaders of doing irreparable damage to tourism in the state, Bahuguna said that despite roads to the Char Dhams (pilgrimage sites) being repaired and the successful opening of the shrines; party leaders were asking people during their campaign meetings to visit the Himalayan shrines at their own risk.

"It will send a wrong message to people outside the state and harm tourism which is the mainstay of the state's economy," he complained.

Bahuguna who has held over 30 election meetings across the state expressed confidence that Congress will get positive votes of the people and sweep all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state.

"We have done a lot in all sectors in the past two years and people are aware of that. Does the BJP have the courage to list what it did in its five-year tenure and what we did in just two years?" he asked.

Dismissing the Gujarat model of development touted by Modi as just a hype, Bahuguna said there was no substance to it.

"Uttarakhand was far ahead of Gujarat in terms of development and education. Despite being a disaster-hit state, we pay Rs 800 as old age pension as against Rs 400 paid in Gujarat. In education also we are next only to Kerala. What is being said about Gujarat model of development is that it is just a hype," the former chief minister said.

Bahuguna has been campaigning for his son and Congress candidate from Tehri seat, Saket Bahuguna, in the constituency.

"People are disappointed with the sitting MP and BJP candidate Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah who has not done anything for the constituency after being elected from the seat in 2012," Bahuguna said.

"As many as ten people from the erstwhile Tehri royal family have represented the seat in the Lok Sabha but they were least aggressive about the problems faced by the district and their voice was not heard in Parliament," he added and claimed that the people are in a mood to elect a vocal representative this time.

Next Story : Ready to be Gujarat CM If Party Wants: Nitin Patel
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