New Delhi: The Congress party on August 23 demanded that the devastation caused by floods and heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh be declared as a ‘National Calamity’. The party also demanded a special relief package of Rs 10,000 Cr for the state, saying the damage and devastation was unimaginable.
Addressing a press conference here today, Congress MP and AICC In-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla urged the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman Rajya Sabha to allow the MPs to donate for the calamity relief from the MPLAD funds as was done during earlier calamities.
The Congress leader said that the enormity of the devastating tragedy in Himachal Pradesh was not being realized and felt across the country. He said, such devastation had taken place for the first time in Himachal’s history where roads and highways have been washed away.
He said, the government of India had so far provided just Rs 200 Crores to the state which was just peanuts. He said, the total damage estimated was to the tune of Rs 13,000 crores.
Shukla demanded relief on the pattern of Uttarakhand, Bhuj earthquake and the tsunami given to other states earlier.
The Congress MP said, the Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had already met the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Finance Minister seeking relief for the state. He alleged that the BJP in HP was trying to politicize the tragedy. He appealed to people across the country to come forward and help the affected people as it was devastating humanitarian tragedy. Besides, he pointed out, Himachal Pradesh did not have enough resources of its own and it needed external support.
To a question about BJP’s claim that during its tenure much more satellites were launched as compared to the Congress regime, Shukla remarked sarcastically, “for them nothing happened in India before 2014”.