Congress govt should quit over poor handling of Uttrakhand tragedy: BJP

New Delhi, Jun 15: BJP on Sunday sought the dismissal of the Congress government in Uttarakhand while accusing it of failing to carry out its duty of handing over bodies to the next of kin and not undertaking rehabilitation works even a year after the flash flood tragedy in the hill state.

Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly, Ajay Bhatt, today said it was a "matter of shame" that instead of the state government coming forward to perform the last rites of those killed in the tragedy, it was a private social organisation which was going to do so tomorrow in Haridwar.

"It is a matter of shame that the government is doing nothing to perform the last rites of those killed in the tragedy. A social organisation -- Vishwa Janjagriti Mission -- is doing so in Haridwar tomorrow. The Congress government has no moral authority to rule. "The government should either itself resign or be dismissed at the earliest," he told PTI today.

Bhatt said human remains were still being found in houses adjacent to the Kedarnath shrine and the government has done nothing to retrieve them. The government should have ideally retrieved the bodies long back and handed them over to their next of kin, he added.

"I will quit not just as Leader of Opposition but also as an MLA and from politics itself if the claims made by me that skeletons are still (lying in the area) are proved wrong," he said, claiming that he has himself carried out the 'Char dhaam yatra' of Gangotri, Yamnotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath on foot.

He added that the state government was using as an excuse the Geological Survey of India view that if the houses around Kedarnath shrine were opened, it may prove dangerous to the ancient temple.

Asked if BJP will seek Centre's help in retrieving the bodies/skeletons, he said they have asked the state government to approach the Union government in this regard as also the army and paramilitary to undertake reconstruction work.

A cloudburst and resultant flash floods in June last year in Uttarakhand had led to heavy casualties and caused widespread damage in the hill state.


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