Congress’ Rahul Gandhi reaches Gauchar to monitor relief work


Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took an overnight halt at Gauchar after he reached flood-ravaged Uttarakhand on Monday to monitor relief work.

The visit comes amid criticism from the opposition for his absence from flood and landslide-hit Uttarakhand. Heavy rains pounded the hill state on June 16 triggering the disaster which has killed more than 600 people.

Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi will monitor the relief work being done by the party during his visit. Party sources said Mr Gandhi is also expected to meet the victims during his visit.

At the Congress briefing in Delhi, party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary ducked the question on the number of days the Congress leader will stay in Uttarakhand, saying it is immaterial.

“Rahul Gandhi is not going there as a VIP. He is going there as a citizen, as the vice-president of Congress to oversee that the relief materials reach in place. Rahul did not say I am a Rambo and I did this and I did that,” Ms Chowdhary said, as she tried to make a difference between Rahul Gandhi’s visit and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s tour of the flood-hit areas.

Opposition parties, mainly BJP, had questioned Mr Gandhi’s absence at the time of the calamity and Congress spokespersons have had to face tough questions during the party’s regular press briefings on the issue.

Ms Chowdhury said Congress works as a team and it is not necessary that all leaders visit a place together and hamper the work.

She apparently lost cool, when asked why Rahul has been found absent during occasions, when the country is fighting a big crisis.

“You do not know what he (Rahul) is doing. What do you want we should be telling you when does he has his hair cut and such things? Everybody is not like that to publicise all petty things, when does he spit out, when does he sneeze,” she said responding to questions on why does Congress party not tell what Rahul Gandhi was doing on those occasions.

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