Lucknow, June 26 (IANS) BJP president Rajnath Singh said here Wednesday that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi never claimed rescuing 15,000 people from disaster-hit Uttarakhand.
"Narendra Modi never claimed that he evacuated anyone (from Uttarakhand). Remarks by Congressmen in this hour of crisis are very unfortunate," he added.
"I have spoken to Modi-ji. He said he had gone there to express his solidarity with the people caught in the disaster and to oversee the (rescue and relief) arrangements," Singh added.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had slammed Modi Tuesday, saying: "The army and air force have been engaged in rescue operations and this man (Narendra Modi) comes in and claims he has rescued 15,000 people. Don't lie so much, Mr. Modi, people aren't that stupid."
"This is a big disaster and our prayers are for the safe return of people stranded there. I hope that the army, the ITBP and NDMA personnel will help everyone reach safety soon," Singh added.
He also urged politicians across party lines not to make political currency out of the calamity in Uttarakhand and urged his partymen to extend all possible help to the disaster-struck state and not politicise the issue.
Singh also announced an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakh each from BJP funds to the kin of the 20 people killed in the chopper crash Tuesday at Gaurikund in Uttarakhand. The dead were personnel from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF), besides pilgrims.
The BJP president also flagged off a consignment of relief material to Uttarakhand collected by party workers.
This includes 10 trucks carrying rice, clothing, food material and medicine. The BJP has also collected Rs.56 lakh for the Uttarakhand victims.