Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 23: Union Minister Ananth Kumar today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had rushed to Kollam to take stock of the situation hours after the Puttingal Devi Temple fire tragedy, as "it was his duty as PM to do so".
Modi had rushed to the state within hours of the tragedy (on April 10) to review the situation as it was his "duty as the Prime Minister of India", Kumar said.
The remarks are significant in the light of comments made by some political parties and Kerala Director General of Police that VVIP visits should be "avoided" during such major mishaps.
Taking a dig at former prime minister Manmohan Singh, he alleged that the Congress had provided a prime minister who never acted during the UPA's tenure at the Centre.
In the last two years, India has the luxury of a Prime Minister who is "dynamic and pro-active", he said. BJP's state unit had earlier alleged that the ruling Congress-led UDF cadre, who were "upset" over the Prime Minister's visit, was "encouraging" officials to make "unnecessary statements".
However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said Modi's visit was a "big relief" for the people of Kerala.
The minister praised Modi for nominating Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi to the Rajya Sabha and said this was in recognition of the creativity and talent of South India. The April 10 tragedy which occurred during an unauthorised display of fireworks at the 100-year-old temple, had killed 108 persons and injured more than 300.