Put Army in charge of relief operations: Ramesh Chennithala

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has called for the Army to be given total command of the flood relief and rescue operations. The Southern Command of the Army should take charge and the state government should monitor the situation, he told reporters at the Cantonment House here on Saturday.

He said scale of tragedy is unprecedented and its magnitude beyond the worst nightmare. Chennithala said the government should not resort to false prestige and instead call for the total services of the Army.The Opposition leader said he is not playing politics on the issue and that his appeal is for saving the hapless people of the state who are trapped and stranded. He said when such natural disasters happened in the past, the Army was in full charge of the operations.

The need of the hour is the superior rescue operations of the Army to save the hapless people. He said survival and rescue have to be given the priority and the rest can be spoken about later. Chennithala also said he had given a memorandum to the Prime Minister on the assistance required and had also called the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh thrice. He urged the people of the state to take charge and support the NGO’s, political parties and social organisations engaged in rescue and relief operations. He said the shutters of dams should not be opened further. He also urged the Agriculture Minister to supply maximum vegetables through horticorp outlets.

Kodiyeri slams Chennithala

T’Puram: CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has scoffed at Opposition leader’s Ramesh Chennithala’s call for “total Army deployment”. “The Opposition leader is calling for the Army to take over the state’s administration, which will not happen,” Kodiyeri said. Meanwhile, Chennithala told reporters he had never called for the Army taking over the administration. “Instead my suggestion is that Army takes command of the rescue and relief operations, with the state government monitoring the situation,” he said.