Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s “Rambo” act in rescuing stranded state pilgrims in Uttarakhand has been in the eye of a political storm. The initial figure of 15,000 quoted in the Times of India was scoffed at by Congress party leaders who mocked that even the Army couldn’t have rescued as many people in just 2-3 days.
Since the TOI figure was not attributed to Modi or any Gujarat official, I was trying to figure out exactly how many people did he help reach home safe and sound.
Just now I read a story on the Rediff that says that “on Monday, the Gujarat government, when contacted by Rediff.com, refused to confirm or deny the exact figures of Gujarati pilgrims helped by the Modi government”. But, on the other hand, I find that Modi’s official site has the figure: Around 6,000. Some 2,500 “are on the way” and the remaining about 100 persons are still stranded.
This is still quite impressive for a state government.
What impresses me more is how Gujarat government did it — leave the figures aside.
Speaking with Rediff, Anil Baluni, the BJP state unit spokesperson, claimed that “the manner in which the entire operation was planned and executed should be applied as a role model for other states”. In view of the details offered, I guess one will have to agree:
* The moment the news of tragedy came in, the Gujarat government appointed a relief commissioner, Poonam Singh Pandey, to be assisted by four IAS and IPS officers.
* All these officers were from Uttarakhand but working in the Gujarat cadre. So they knew the area well.
* The BJP’s network in Uttarakhand was put to good use for networking and other purposes.
* The officers’ phone numbers were shared with BJP workers who were told to share the same with the pilgrims to enable them to contact the relief commissioner directly.
* Chief Minister Modi himself arrived in the state and stayed there for three days. “The officers on the job were charged up and the fact that Modi was directly in contact with the workers charged up the entire team.”
When all this was happening, Rahul baba was in Europe. Right now he is Uttrakhand “as a citizen”, as Congress puts it. In times of crisis, Rambos are preferable to citizens I presume.
About the Author
This Article was first published by Anuj Dhar here. Anuj Dhar is the Author of India’s Biggest Coverup and a researcher on the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.