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Dec 05, 2017 08:29 AM IST | Source: PTI

Ahead of Ockhi landfall in Gujarat, PM Modi attacks Congress over handling natural calamities

After leaving a trail of destruction on the southern coast, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat tomorrow midnight with squally winds and heavy rainfall.

Asserting that the BJP governments at Centre and Gujarat are prepared to tackle the situation when Cyclone Ockhi makes a landfall on state's coast tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took a jibe at the Congress over its "inefficient handling" of natural calamities in the past.

After leaving a trail of destruction on the southern coast, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat tomorrow midnight with squally winds and heavy rainfall.

Hitting out at the Congress, the prime minister said "the party couldn't properly handle natural calamities including the 2013 earthquake in Kedarnath".

"The BJP government had managed (to handle) all natural calamities, including the 2001 Bhuj earthquake (in Gujarat) and is all prepared for Cyclone Ockhi," Modi said addressing a rally in coastal Jamnagar.

He said the Congress delayed taking stock of the situation after a cyclone had hit Jamnagar 20 years ago.

"A cyclone had hit Jamnagar around 20 years ago. For days, the Congress had no time to take stock of the situation in Jamnagar. (Then Congress MP) Urmilaben (Patel) could not visit the place (due to public anger)," Modi said.

Referring to the 1993 Latur earthquake in neighbouring Maharashtra, Modi said, "I challenge the people talking about the country's development to assess the situation of places 5-10 years after they were hit by a natural calamity. Latur earthquake occurred 20 years go, but the impact is still seen".

Modi said reconstruction of Kedarnath was initiated by him after the BJP came to power.

"Earthquake and floods occurred in Kedarnath five years ago (and) it was only after I visited there as the prime minister after the BJP formed its government that I launched its rebuilding exercise," he said.

He also referred to earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir and a cyclone in Odisha, apparently the destructive cyclone of 1999.

"In the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat...Kutch, Jamnagar, Patan, Banaskantha...the entire region was badly affected. The world said Gujarat will not recover. But I can today say with pride that the BJP government here pulled it (the state) out of the shadow of destruction and made it take strides in development," the PM said.

He said the BJP governments at Centre and Gujarat are prepared to tackle the situation when Cyclone Ockhi hits coastal Gujarat, likely around tomorrow midnight.

"(Cyclone) Ockhi is set to hit Gujarat after impacting South India. But our governments both in the state and at the Centre are prepared to tackle the situation. We are ready to ensure that the impact is minimum. The government machinery is preparing for this," he said.

Modi said the fishermen of South India who were at sea when the cyclone hit them have been saved.

"The BJP has shown how a capable, alert government committed to society and development, can deliver great results," he said.
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