Andhra Pradesh opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party, the YSRCP, have lashed out at Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, alleging inadequate relief measures in the cyclone-hit districts in the state. Jagan has accused the government of creating a smokescreen, and taking mere namesake measure for relief.
Speaking at a review meeting with party leaders in Bobbili Assembly constituency of Vizianagaram during his statewide padayatra, Jagan said that he will take into account the devastation in the cyclone affected districts in the next leg of his walkathon. He is yet to step foot in Srikakulam, which has been severely affected by cyclone Titli.
â€śI will take account of the impact of the cyclone during my padayatra. Chandrababu Naidu has failed to help the cyclone-affected victims, and has not provided them with adequate support,â€ť Jagan said, â€śWe will take the responsibility of uplifting their lives, and driving the rehabilitation efforts.â€ť
â€śOnce YSRCP comes into power, we will ensure that Rs 3,435 crore â€“ which is the loss estimated by the TDP government â€“ is provided. After such hype and publicity for their rescue operations, the government has only given Rs 200 worth commodities to the families,â€ť Jagan said.
During the meeting, YSRCP leaders claimed that Titli relief camps are not run properly. YSRCP General Secretary Bhumana Karunakar Reddy lashed out at Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu for wasting time by conducting review meetings, instead of looking into the struggles of the public in the aftermath of the cyclone. Bhumana lambasted the State government for ignoring the cyclone victims who were struggling without basic needs post Titli cyclone. He has also said that the government officials were not accessible to the people.
The ruling TDP meanwhile has taken objection to the YSRCPâ€™s allegations, calling them irresponsible. Speaking to TNM, TDP official spokesperson Lanka Dinakar said that only people who don't have any concern towards the affected people would call the CMâ€™s review meetings as a waste of time.
Accusing Jagan, and Pawan Kalyan, of teaming up with the BJP to create hindrances in the state, he said, â€śHave Jagan or Pawan sought any assistance from the Centre? Why havenâ€™t they asked for it? Instead of questioning injustice, theyâ€™re playing politics in a time of calamity.â€ť
Dinakar said that the BJP at the centre doesnâ€™t have any concern for cyclone-hit Srikakulam. â€śIf BJPâ€™s Andhra unit has any humanitarian concern for the state, they should ask Narendra Modi to provide relief funds to rebuild Srikakulam,â€ť he said.
The BJP, however, is quick to blame the TDP-led Andhra government, accusing them of trying to gain political mileage out of the situation. Andhra BJP chief Kanna Lakshminarayana said, â€śThe devastation in Srikakulam is more than the damage from Hud-Hud. But the CM is not assessing it properly.â€ť
When asked why the BJP-led Union government hasnâ€™t responded to the Andhra governmentâ€™s request for interim relief yet, he said, â€śFrom the party, we have urged the Union government to provide assistance to the state. I personally have written a letter to the PM and to the Home Minister, asking them to provide assistance. When Home Minister Rajnath Singh came here, we personally conveyed the same to him. They are positive towards the state.â€ť
Actor-politician and Jana Sena party chief Pawan Kalyan has also been touring Srikakulam district and has questioned the relief provided by the TDP government and the lack if electricity in many areas more than a week after the cyclone.
Meanwhile, Chandrababu Naidu has pinned the blame on the Centre and said that he had earlier written to the PM, seeking interim relief of Rs 1,200 crore for rebuilding and restorating operations in the state, but he was yet to get a response.
Over 9 lakh people were affected by cyclone Titli in both Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, and as many as 18 mandals were of Srikakulam district were badly hit. The state government has estimated the damage across sectors to be worth Rs 2,800 crore. According to the governmentâ€™s own estimates, loss in agriculture has been pegged at Rs 802 crore while the figure for horticulture is Rs 1,000 crore. Homes worth Rs 220 crore were also said to be destroyed by the cyclone.