De­clare Cy­clone Gaja a na­tional disas­ter: CPI

‘It has caused huge and un­prece­dented dam­age’

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Cy­clone Gaja has caused huge and un­prece­dented dev­as­ta­tion in the Cau­very delta and neigh­bour­ing dis­tricts of Tamil Nadu, and should be de­clared a na­tional disas­ter, CPI leader D. Raja has said.

Mr. Raja, who vis­ited af­fected ar­eas in Pudukot­tai and Than­javur dis­tricts on Fri­day and Satur­day, crit­i­cised the Cen­tre for fail­ing to re­spond to the State’s de­mand for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of nearly ₹15,000 crore even af­ter the visit by a Cen­tral team.

Promis­ing to raise the is­sue in Parliament, he pointed out that even the re­moval of trees felled by the cy­clone re­mained a chal­lenge to farm­ers. “The im­pact of the cy­clone is worse than that of the 2004 tsunami. Its im­pact will be felt for years to come. The Cen­tre and the State gov­ern­ment should ex­tend all pos­si­ble help to the peo­ple to en­able them to re­claim their liveli­hood,” he said, ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Than­javur.

Flays PM

He flayed Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi for not hav­ing in­spected af­fected ar­eas. Chief Minister Edap­padi K. Palaniswami too had not vis­ited all of the af­fected ar­eas, and the State gov­ern­ment had been un­able to ex­ert pres­sure on the Cen­tre to sanc­tion the as­sis­tance it had sought. Peo­ple were an­gry with the cal­lous at­ti­tude of the Cen­tre and the State gov­ern­ment, he said.

When his re­ac­tion was sought to the exit poll re­sults for the elec­tions to the As­sem­blies in five States, Mr. Raja said ev­ery­thing would be­come clear on De­cem­ber 11, when the re­sults were ex­pected to be an­nounced. How­ever, he said the mood across the coun­try was against Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi and the poli­cies of his gov­ern­ment. The demo­cratic and sec­u­lar fab­ric of the coun­try had come un­der threat un­der the BJP gov­ern­ment, he said.

The im­pact of the cy­clone is worse than that of the 2004 tsunami. Its im­pact will be felt for years to come

D. Raja CPI leader

In­tractable prob­lem: Even the re­moval of trees felled by the cy­clone re­mained a chal­lenge for farm­ers, CPI na­tional sec­re­tary D. Raja said.

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