Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has made a veiled attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of rescuing Uttarakhand victims from his state alone, saying no politician should be parochial in his approach while saving lives of the stranded people.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Sinha referred to the tiff between Congress and Telugu Desam Party leaders at Dehradun airport on Wednesday on the issue of taking back rescued people from Andhra Pradesh to their homes.
He asked if we should introduce "parochialism" that Andhra Pradesh MPs are going to rescue only people from their state.
Asked if he was also referring to Modi -- who had saved 15,000 Gujaratis stranded in Uttarakhand, according to reports -- Sinha said: "I am talking about everyone. If one is a national leader, he/she should be concerned with every part of the country."
He said as an MP from Jharkhand, he cannot ignore victims from other states while saving lives.
"Suppose I am rescuing a Jharkhandi and next to me is a Bengali or a person from another state, will I say no, I will not rescue you, you drown, you die? That I will rescue only the person from my state? No, this is not done," Sinha said.
Later, talking to PTI, Sinha defended Modi's decision to visit Uttarakhand (though not his move to save only Gujaratis) while answering a question on the war of words between Congress and BJP over the visits of the Gujarat Chief Minister and Rahul Gandhi.
"If the Congress spokesperson feels that Modi going to Uttarakhand was bad then how come Rahul was making it worse by going there? I have read news reports that a whole paramilitary camp was evacuated due to Rahul’s visit," Sinha said.
Sinha also differed with Modi on the issue of rebuilding the Kedarnath temple.
While the Gujarat Chief Minister had offered to rebuild it, Sinha said the temple is a symbol of Hindu faith.
"The Hindu community and believers should get together and rebuild the temple," he said.
Sinha criticised the Congress and TDP MPs for getting into a fight at the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.
"I feel diminished. As an MP I feel this defames the entire political class. Whether one leader or two leaders do this the entire political class suffers. This kind of unseemly behaviour should not be adopted by the political class. This is unfortunate," he said.
Sinha told PTI that he feels the Uttarakhand government should not have involved itself in the rescue operations as this was being done in a very professional manner by the ITBP and the Air Force.
The state government and the Centre should now become active in helping the locals who have lost their "home and hearth" and provide them land and compensation and rebuild their houses, he said.
The BJP leader maintained that others, including MPs, NGOs and the people should also involve themselves in contributing on this front.
Sinha expressed concern over the politicisation of the tragedy in Uttarakhand and said no politician or political party should do so.