Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who faced flak from the opposition for his absence at the time of the Uttarakhand disaster, will be visiting the flood-hit state on Monday.
Rahul, who along with party chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday flagged off a convoy of trucks carrying relief material, will be visiting the AICC control room set up in Dehradun to monitor the relief work being done by the party. He is also expected to meet the victims during his visit, party sources said.
Opposition parties, mainly BJP, had questioned Rahul's absence at the time of the calamity and Congress spokespersons have had to face tough questions during the party's regular press briefings on the issue. Congress had, however, brushed aside the criticism, saying what is important at this hour is the work being done for relief and rescue.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes on Monday said, "We are working (for relief and rescue) under his (Rahul's) inspiration and Sonia Gandhi's leadership." He was talking to reporters after the convoy of trucks left from the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.
Besides the Gandhis, leaders present on the occasion included Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, political secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel, AICC General Secretaries Ambika Soni and Ajay Maken.
AICC treasurer Motilal Vora and Soni had on Sunday visited Uttarakhand to oversee relief operations and coordinate with state Congress units. Congress has set up a control room at Dehradun to accelerate the relief work. AICC Secretary Sanjay Kapoor and the party's wing Seva Dal's chief Mahendra Joshi have already been sent to Dehradun to monitor the work.