Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit cyclone affected areas, days after a massive protest was organised in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding that Centre declare Ockhi as a national disaster.

PM Modi to visit Ockhi-hit areas in Kerala Tamil Nadu on Tuesday
news Cyclone Ockhi Sunday, December 17, 2017 - 11:10

After Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi visited villages hit by Cyclone Ockhi and commiserated with families of fisher folk, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also set to visit Kerala and Tamil Nadu soon, an official said.

Putting an end to political criticism, Modi was expected to visit the southern districts of these states, possibly on Tuesday. According to informed sources he will visit two fishing villages in Thiruvananthapuram and one in Kanyakumari.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan took to Facebook to say that Modi will visit Ockhi affected areas in Kerala on Tuesday. According to him, PM Modi will also visit Lakshadweep. 

Kerala government officials have that the official intimation about Modi's visit has come. 

The PM's visit comes almost a week after Latin Catholic Diocese organised a massive protest rally of fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram, protesting against the state and central government's poor response to the tragedy.

Thousands had protested demanding that  the Centre declared Ockhi as a national disaster and also demanded that Prime Minister visit the affected areas.  

“We condemn this with deep pain. We live in a country that claims to have a system in place to face any kind of crisis. But in the case of fishermen, the attitude of the authorities is still that of negligence," said president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, M Susa Pakiam.

Also read: Declare Cyclone Ockhi a national disaster: Kerala fishermen tell government

It was on November 30 that Ockhi struck and left more than 70 fishermen from the southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam dead, while more than 250 of them were yet to be traced.

The Kerala government has blamed the Centre and the weather monitoring organisations for not properly conveying the arrival of Ockhi.

The weather officials in their turn have said that right from November 28 at regular intervals, they had alerted the Kerala government of what was in store.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has come under severe attack as despite being in the capital city, he has failed to travel 10 km to visit the grieving fishermen families.

While Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman flew down and visited these villages, the Congress party leadership blamed Modi for not arriving to be with the grieving.

On Thursday, Gandhi spend time with fishermen both in Thiruvananthapuram and at Kanyakumari.

(With inputs from IANS)

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