Free Press Journal

BJP leader demands Harish Rawat’s resignation over Uttarakhand flood scam

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Harish Rawat

Dehradun: BJP leader Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today demanded Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s resignation besides seeking a white paper by the state government and CBI probe into the alleged misappropriation of funds during relief works of 2013 Uttarakhand floods. The BJP MP from Haridwar, Nishank, sought Rawat’s resignation on moral grounds for failing to stop the “loot”. The former chief minister said he had visited Kedarnath soon after the disaster of June 16-17, 2013 and sought immediate intervention of the then Prime Minister and Chief Minister into the matter, considering the massive scale of devastation in the wake of the calamity, but they remained”indifferent”.

“Despite a tragedy of this scale, the state government took three days to wake up to its magnitude which was responsible for so many casualties. The state government never took the relief operations seriously,” he said. “The official appointed as the relief commissioner at that time had no idea of the circumstances in the hills nor did he know the local dialects,” he said. Noting the lack of seriousness with which the state government took up the task, the minister said that he had information that helicopters which were never used for relief operations were paid in crores.

People who never owned a shop in Kedarnath area were paid compensation. The actual beneficiaries are still crying for succour, he said. Nishank said that he was always suspicious about the way relief funds were being splurged as 82 per cent of a total contribution of Rs 450 crore into Chief Minister’s relief fund were sanctioned as immediate assistance after the disaster. Reiterating his party’s demand for a CBI probe into the scam that has come to the surface in response to an RTI query and a white paper on how the relief funds were spent, Nishank demanded Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s resignation on moral grounds as he had failed to stop the “loot”.