CHENNAI: The DMK today urged Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take steps to declare Cyclone Ockhi that battered Kanyakumari as a "national calamity," and sought expeditious search and rescue operation for missing fishermen.
A DMK delegation led by party Working President MK Stalin submitted a memorandum to the Governor at the Raj Bhavan here.
It accused the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government of failing to give due importance to the search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen from the state in the aftermath of the cyclone that hit Kanyakumari on November 30.
The DMK claimed the chief minister, his deputy O Panneerselvam and senior state government officials were making "contradictory" statements on the number of missing and stranded fishermen as it had no true account in this regard.
The state administration has "grossly failed" to wake up and quickly respond to the emerging situation, it alleged.
Therefore, the Centre should intervene to help trace the missing fishermen quickly within a time-frame, in coordination with state agencies, the memorandum said.
The party appealed to the Governor to urge the Centre to ensure immediate deployment of more Naval helicopters and ships for a massive rescue operation in deep sea to "trace thousands of fishermen missing." It also requested Purohit to apprise the Home Ministry of the situation and prevail upon it to declare the cyclone as a national calamity.
The DMK also alleged that "a complete breakdown in day-to-day business of the Government, resulting in untold sorrow and sufferings to the people." Later, speaking to reporters, Stalin said Purohit has assured him that he would 'forward' the memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also said the Governor recalled his meeting with affected persons in Kanyakumari recently.
Purohit also told them he had taken up the matter with Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Home minister Rajnath Singh and Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman during his two-day Delhi visit which ended yesterday, Stalin said.