Advani urges PM to declare Bihar floods national calamity

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (UNI) Leader of the Opposition L K Advani today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare the floods in Bihar a national calamity and the Centre bear the full burden of relief and rehabilitation operations.

Mr Advani, who spoke to the Prime Minister over the telephone, impressed upon him that the worst floods in recent history in Bihar ''cannot and must not be seen as a calamity of Bihar alone''.

He said the Centre should assist the state government in every possible way in dealing with this 'extraordinary' natural disaster.

There should be no politics in dealing with relief and rehabilitation matters. The first and foremost consideration of all political parties at this moment should be to save lives and alleviate the sufferings of people.

Mr Advani said the Prime Minister assured him ''on this score'' and said he would be visiting Bihar tomorrow for an on-the-spot survey.

The BJP leader also urged that the Centre should draw up a long term strategy for flood management in consultation and cooperation of all political parties and state governments.

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