New Delhi: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for stopping him from carrying out reconstruction of the Kedarnath shrine as the Chief Minister of Gujarat after the 2013 flash floods, the then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna averred that circumstances forced him to reject Modi's proposal.
Congress Stopped Rebuilding Of Kedarnath, Says Modi; Bahuguna Seconds Claim
Bahuguna told news agency ANI: "Circumstances were such that we took that decision; won't comment more as I am not in the Congress anymore." Vijay Bahuguna, now a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was in Congress when he was the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand in 2013. Bahuguna agreed to the fact that Prime Minister Modi extended help and offered a cheque of Rs five crore. "It is true, Modi ji came to Dehradun, at my residence, gave a cheque of Rs 5 crore for relief on behalf of the Gujarat government," he said.
"He had proposed to reconstruct the shrine devastated in Kedarnath after floods. I thanked him on his proposal and said we would consider it. Later, we took a decision to do it ourselves. I had informed him," Bahuguna added.
Earlier in the day, former chief minister Harish Rawat had castigated Prime Minister Modi and said, "The Centre does not interfere in such works. The matter is between Prime Minister Modi and Vijay Bahuguna. It is within BJP. The Congress Party on Saturday said Narendra Modi raked up the issue of Kedarnath because he has to fight the upcoming elections in Gujarat.
"Today, Prime Minister reminded of Lord Shiva when he has to face elections in Gujarat. Everything is timelined for elections. Please don't do injustice to Shivji and Kedarnath. The BJP government is raising these issues because they are going to face elections in Gujarat," Congress leader Tom Vadakkan told ANI.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi also resonated the similar viewpoint. "Problem with this ruling party, this Prime Minister's government is that everything is intended to be a symbolic gesture which tries to create wedges between communities and which tries to divide groups. They try to score a political point and a cheap electoral voting exercise every time. To debase and to devalue icons like Rama and Shiva into such cheap politics must be uncalled for," Singhvi said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the former UPA government for stopping him as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from carrying out the reconstruction of the Kedarnath shrine after the 2013 flash floods.
"The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for victims. But the government at that time asserted that they don't need the help of Gujarat government for the reconstruction of the Kedarnath Temple. But I think the Lord has decided that this work will be done by me," the Prime Minister had said.
The Prime Minister also expressed happiness over his visit to the Kedarnath Temple, saying he was happy that the revamping of the Kedarnath Temple, which was destroyed in the 2013 floods, was being done by him. "Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva. From this holy land of Kedarnath, I seek the blessings of Bhole Baba and pledge to devote myself fully to realising the dream of a developed India by the time we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022," he added.