Congress supports Uttarakhand chief minister on disaster

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Congress Monday gave a clean chit to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna who has been facing flak for “ignoring” the advance warnings of very heavy rains by the meteorological department, saying it was satisfied with the rescue and relief work.

“The Congress is satisfied with the way the state government is functioning,” Congress communications department chief Ajay Maken told reporters when asked about the party’s view on the advance warning available with the state government.

Over 100,000 people have been evacuated and thousands are said to be missing in the flash floods and landslides that ravaged the hill state due to extraordinary rains June 14 onwards.

There is no precise estimate of the dead as the figure could be in thousands.

The Met Office claimed it had alerted the state government of the impending heavy rains 48 hours in advance and that the Char Dham Yatra could have been halted in time, saving hundreds of lives.

“The reasons (behind the tragedy) will be examined. The focus right now should be on evacuating stranded people, ensuring relief and rehabilitation and checking the spread of epidemic,” Maken said.

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