Congress alleged on Thursday that the BJP-led Maharashtra government failed to respond swiftly to the floods

Mumbai:The Congress alleged on Thursday that the BJP-led Maharashtra government failed to respond swiftly to the floods, and demanded that the Army be called in for rescue operations.

The Army should be called in for rescue operations and the Centre should immediately release Rs 4,000 crore to tackle the aftermath of the floods, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said. Why the prime minister Narendra Modi had not yet tweeted a word about the floods in Maharashtra, he asked.

The former state revenue minister told reporters that the Devendra Fadnavis government failed to realise severity of the situation when the current spell of heavy rains started. "The administration should always be one step ahead in ascertaining the situation and take necessary steps. But the government was busy with its political `Yatra'," he said, referring to a mass outreach campaign launched by Fadnavis earlier this month in view of coming elections.

"The situation has now turned serious as both the state and the Centre neglected it," he alleged. In the last five or six days, Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts were pounded by rains, rendering lakhs of people homeless. "But their cries for help did not reach the chief minister who was busy with his Janadesh Yatra," the Cong leader said.

"If the government had contacted Karnataka for discharge of water from Alamatti dam when the heavy rains began, the situation would not have become so serious," he alleged.Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan said the death of "11 persons" in a boat capsize incident in Sangli was due to administration's negligence.

The locals of Brahmanal in Sangli district had sought a boat to evacuate some stranded villagers, but the tehsil officials told them that as the gram panchayat had its own boat, there was no need for another, Chavan claimed. "Local people had no option but to use the defective boat of the gram panchayat, resulting in the mishap. If the administration had sent trained personnel to evacuate the villagers in the gram panchayat's boat, the accident would nothave happened," Chavan alleged.At least nine people drowned when the boat capsized on Thursday.

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