It has been two weeks since Cyclone Titli hit Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. However, several areas in this district are still struggling to recover from the devastation it has left behind. From major agriculture and horticulture damage to lack of power supply to several villages have been seemingly causing unrest among the people.
Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu camped at the cyclone-hit in Palasa town and oversaw the relief measures. He has also sought Rs 1,200 crore as interim relief from the Union government. However, there has not been any response yet.
In the wake of allegations of ‚Äúinadequate relief measures‚ÄĚ against Naidu-led state government from opposition circles, TDP‚Äôs Srikakulam MP Rammohan Naidu lashed out at opposition parties, accusing BJP of ‚Äėpolitical vendetta‚Äô on the state.
MP Rammohan told TNM, ‚ÄúThe magnitude of the devastation that cyclone has created is very much equal to any other national calamity that we have seen in the last four years. The state government has estimated the damage at Rs 3,800 crore. Now, given the bifurcation of the state, Andhra is a financially weaker state and my area (Srikakulam) is backward, even as per the national indicators. Though everything indicates that the Centre has to take responsibility in such situations, they have not been responding, even with funds. In fact, not even a single Union Minister has visited the area and inspected the loss. This definitely makes it clear that there is a political vendetta against the state. This is not acceptable in a democracy.‚ÄĚ
Srikakulam is one of seven backward districts in the state. The MP has urged the Union government to give ‚Äúequal treatment to every state and every national calamity‚ÄĚ.
He further took a dig at BJP central and state units. He said, ‚ÄúThey will talk about all other issues in the state but not cyclone. Home Minister Rajnath Singhji had come to Guntur to open the party headquarters after the cyclone devastation. However, he did not make a single comment regarding the cyclone, which shows the partiality and vendetta against AP.‚ÄĚ
Rammohan further stated that the rehabilitation and relief operations were in full swing as the CM himself camped in the area and ensured proper access to food and other materials. While the MP admits that there were certain challenges in laying the electric poles, which caused some delay, he also said that the power supply was restored in almost 90% of the villages.
He added, ‚ÄúThe remaining areas, too, will get power supply soon as we are committed to making it happen. We have deployed more than 8,000 electricity staff from across the state.‚ÄĚ
Cyclone Titli, which came along with a reported wind speed of more than 160kmph, has affected the electronic and telecommunication services badly.
There were also reports that said Ram Mohan faced the ire of villagers affected by the cyclone when he tried to visit them 10 days after the devastation and was reportedly asked to leave as they were 'unsatisfied with relief measures'.
Rammohan Naidu, while ruling out such reports as "fake", accused the opposition parties of "spreading rumours". He alleged that the opposition parties are trying to take political advantage instead of lending the hand.
He told TNM, ‚ÄúThere is unrest among people due to several reasons, including lack of communication and power supply. There were instances when the instructions from the higher-ups had not reached the staff on the ground due to lack of communication.
Rammohan accused the opposition parties of instilling fear among those already in grief, saying that the ‚Äėgovernment will not do anything‚Äô. He claimed that people are also responding positively to the relief and restoration measures.
Recently, Pawan Kalyan, the Jana Sena party chief, after his six-day visit to Cyclone-hit Uddanam area, along with his cadre, attacked CM Chandrababu Naidu for 'not doing enough' and termed the measures as "inadequate". He also alleged that the CM was doing a ‚ÄėPR exercise‚Äô while stating that the state government has not reported the proper assessment of the damage. In fact, he met Governor ESL Narasimhan on Tuesday seeking 100% loan waiver to affected farmers and demanded an immediate inspection of the cyclone-affected area by the Central government.
MP Rammohan Naidu, responding to these allegations by Pawan Kalyan, said, ‚ÄúHow can he say that when the CM had sought interim relief of Rs 1,200 crore the following day. Why hasn't he questioned the PM instead of the CM, who is very much on the ground and looking after relief and rehabilitation operations? They just want to target CM Naidu. This indicates a nexus with PM and BJP.‚ÄĚ