New Delhi: Dismissing reports that Narendra Modi had helped in evacuation of thousands of people from flood-hit Uttarakhand, I&B Minister Manish Tewari on Sunday said such claims reflected "rank opportunism" to try and "milk a tragedy for political reasons." All the elements of national power put together had on Saturday evacuated 10,000 people and in all till yesterday the government had been successful in evacuating 17,000 people, he told reporters here.
"Now in all this, if somebody wants to become a Rambo and claims that he alone in a span of two days during a trip of disaster tourism brought out 15,000 people, I am afraid for the lack of a better word, it just reflects rank opportunism and sheer desperation to try and politicise and even milk a tragedy for political reasons," he said.
Tewari said the country should really think about the mindset behind such politics. The Information and Broadcasting Minister was asked for a comment on reports that the Gujarat CM along with his team of officers had managed to evacuate 15,000 people from calamity-hit Uttarakhand.
When asked if Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi would visit Uttarakhand, Tewari said the party did not believe in scoring "cheap brownie points." "I think the question has already been answered by the Indian National Congress at the level of the Prime Minister, at the level of the (party) President. At the levels of both, the government and the party, we've brought all elements of national power together in order to assist in this rescue and relief effort," Tewari said.
"Unlike other political forces we do not believe in scoring cheap brownie points. I think rather than puffing about who is where and who is not where, BJP would be better served if they direct their cadres to really try and assist rescue and relief efforts in Uttarakhand," he said.
Tewari also said the government was presently focusing on rescue operations. He said the media should raise questions but refrain from sensationalising issues.
Asked to comment on Modi's rally in Pathankot today, he said the decline of NDA would begin from Pathankot. "All these powers that make the NDA, they had held their last rally in 2009 in my parliamentary constituency (Ludhiana) and the people of Ludhiana gave them a befitting reply. "And, it is good that they are beginning from Pathankot, their decline would begin from Pathankot," he added.