As Kerala struggles with the worst floods in a century, state Forest Minister K. Raju is on a trip to Germany. Mr Raju left for the travel on August 16, when the crisis peaked, to attend seminars along with other party colleagues.
Mr Raju is a CPI lawmaker from Punalur in Kollam district. His constituency is one of the most affected in the floods, that have killed 191 people across the state since August 8.
After outrage over the trip, Mr Raju's party CPI admonished him today and said that he has been asked to return. The party's state secretary Kanam Rajendran told reporters that the party had taken a dim view of Mr Raju's trip. Reports said that the party may take strong action against him.
Mr Raju is reportedly attending a conference orgainsed by a Malayalee association along with Ponnani MP E T Mohammed Basheer and Pattambi legislator Mohammed Muhassin.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called off his trip to US for medical treatment. Mr Vijayan was scheduled to leave for Mayo Clinic in the US on Sunday but called it off due to the floods.
Heavy rains in Kerala have displaced nearly a million people from their homes. The state received 164 per cent more rainfall than the normal during the first 19 days of August.
Many areas are still remain inaccessible and security forces and disaster management groups are continuing the rescue operations. As flood waters recede, The threat of disease outbreaks looms.
(Kerala has to rebuild itself after the worst floods in over a century. Hundreds have died and lakhs are homeless. Here is how you can help.)
With IANS inputs