7 hours, 20 tweets: Congress, BJP refuse to stop Uttarakhand blame game

7 hours, 20 tweets: Congress, BJP refuse to stop Uttarakhand blame game
New Delhi In a span of 20 tweets, the Congress and the BJP rode the politicisation of the Uttarakhand disaster to a new low.

At least 1,000 lives have been lost since flash floods assaulted the hill state last month. Parties have sought photo ops and political ground.

Today's downward spiral began early when Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted that neither of the Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament - Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley - have made the time to visit Uttarakhand.  He was responding to an article by Mr Jaitley.

Ms Swaraj retaliated on twitter: "The truth is that I woke you up about the scale of tragedy when I spoke to Home Minister on 18th June and tweeted about this." (See: who said what)

Ajay Maken, the new head of the Communications Department for the Congress, warned against political opportunism in one tweet, then quickly followed up with: "Pyre of many victims of this natural calamity still warm. First BJP tried to take credit of evacuating 15000 in a day."

That last remark attempts to re-create the controversy around whether senior BJP leader Narendra Modi flew into Uttarakhand and helped rescue 15,000 Gujaratis in a day - a claim made in a newspaper report that that was denied days later by the BJP.

At a press conference this afternoon, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni attacked Ms Swaraj for suggesting that Vijay Bahuguna, the Congress Chief Minister of Uttarakhand should resign. "I am saddened when all of India empathises with the loss in Uttarakhand, the leader of opposition, who could be a forerunner for Prime Minister, should say this," Ms Soni said.

Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien implored on twitter, "A humble request. Will all politicos call a truce on Twitter and stop mud slinging on Ukhand."
Story First Published: July 01, 2013 09:09 IST