WAYANAD: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday visited flood-hit areas in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, including worst-hit Puthumala, and urged the Centre to "aggressively support" the people hit by floods and landslides in Southern states.
"It is a tragedy not only for Wayanad, but for Kerala and also some southern states. This is not only a Wayanad issue, this is a Kerala issue, this is a Karnataka issue. I think the Central government needs to pay attention and aggressively support the people of these states," the Congress leader told reporters in Kalpetta after attending a review meeting with government officials on the flood situation in his Lok Sabha constituency.
Gandhi, who is currently visiting people affected by floods and landslides in Wayanad, said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Kerala flood issue.
On the 2nd day of my visit to Wayanad, my parliamentary constituency that has been badly hit by devastating floods, I met with members of the media to update them on my review meetings with state & district officials and my visits to affected sites and relief camps. pic.twitter.com/sbr9tC0ayx— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 12, 2019
"I spoke to the Prime Minister and I mentioned to him some of the details that I knew about Kerala and Wayanad. And I told him to make sure that central government gives full support," he said in response to a question on the central aid to Wayanad ravaged by floods and landslides.
He said both Central and state governments should take measures to provide compensation to the flood-hit people as soon as possible.
Refusing to take political questions, he said:"I don't want to politicise this thing. Here we all are working together. There is a disaster. The whole Wayanad is working together, the political parties are working together."
The Wayanad MP visited flood-hit areas in his constituency and assured all help to those hit by the calamity to rebuild their lives.
Earlier, talking to affected people lodged in a relief camp at Meppadi, Gandhi said the Congress party will put pressure on the centre and state governments to ensure compensation for the affected people.
"I want to assure everybody that even though we are in the opposition we will put as much pressure as possible on the government to ensure that people who have lost their property are compensated for it," the Congress leader said.
At Puthumala, where a landslide had wrecked havoc in the area, Gandhi said many people are feared to be still trapped beneath the debris.
"I visited the epicentre of Puthumala landslide at Meppadi in Wayanad. This is the site of a terrible landslide that destroyed an entire village, many people are still feared to be trapped & rescue work is ongoing," he tweeted.
He interacted with people in relief camps at Meppadi in Wayanad and Kaithapoil in Kozhikode district.
"I know it is a difficult time but I request you not to worry for your future. Were going to stand with you, were going to help you and were going to make sure that youre able to rebuild your lives," Gandhi told them.
He distributed relief materials to people at the relief camp in Kaithapoil.
The Wayanad MP told flood affected people at Meppadi and Kaithapoil that as their representative, he has spoken to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Prime Minister "to ask for help for this region from the State and Central governments."
Referring to his meeting with state government officials, Gandhi said he had asked "them to bring in reconstruction, give compensation and distribute medicines and cleaning equipment at the earliest." Gandhi also extended his Eid greetings to the people.
"Let us take the spirit of Eid to help all our brothers and sisters who are in pain and in suffering today," he said.
Earlier, Gandhi appealed to the people to provide relief materials to those hit by the floods in his constituency.
Gandhi, currently visiting areas ravaged by floods and landslides in Wayanad, posted the appeal on his Facebook page.
"My Parliamentary constituency Wayanad has been devastated by floods with thousands left homeless and shifted to relief camps," Gandhi said.
"We are in urgent need of materials, including water bottles, sleeping mats, blankets, undergarments, dhotis, nightgowns, children's apparel, slippers, sanitary napkins, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Dettol, soap powder, bleaching powder and chlorine," he said.
Gandhi appealed to donors to send the material to collection centres in Malappuram district, which he listed.