Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation for families of those killed in Gujarat due to rain and storm, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath pointed to the deaths in his state, saying, "you are the prime Minister of the country and not Gujarat".
Shortly after Mr Nath's criticism on Twitter, the Prime Minister's Office, in tweets, announced similar compensation for those affected in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur and various parts of the country.
35 people have been killed after rain and thunder storm that hit several states on Tuesday; 10 died in Gujarat and Rajasthan, while 15 lost their lives in Madhya Pradesh.
In tweets this morning, the PM announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of those killed in Gujarat and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Anguished by the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of Gujarat. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2019
Authorities are monitoring the situation very closely. All possible assistance is being given to those affected.
PM @narendramodi approved an ex- gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to unseasonal rain and storms in various parts of Gujarat.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 17, 2019
Kamal Nath, who heads the Congress government in the state, tweeted a sharp reaction, saying, "Mr. Modi, you are the prime Minister of the country and not Gujarat. The MP also claimed that more than 10 people have died due to unseasonal rain and storms causing lightning. But are your senses confined to Gujarat only? Even though it is not your party's government, people are also here."
Soon after, the Prime Minister's Office, in tweets, expressed "grief at the loss of lives" in other states, announcing compensation for those killed and injured.
PM @narendramodi has expressed grief at the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country. The government is doing its best to provide all possible assistance to those affected. The situation is being monitored closely.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 17, 2019
An ex- gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to unseasonal rain & storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country has been approved from the PM's National Relief Fund. Rs 50,000 each for the injured has also been approved.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 17, 2019
Meanwhile, Anil Baluni, the BJP's media chief and a member of the Rajya Sabha, criticized Mr Nath for politicizing the issue of deaths instead of following protocol in reporting the disaster to the Centre. He said, "Instead of informing the Centre, he chose to do politics over the tragedy".
The Prime Minister is scheduled to address three rallies in Himmatnagar, Surendranagar and Anand in Gujarat today. The first rally is in the state's Sabarkantha district where one person was killed due to lighting and storms. A portion of a tent set up for the PM's rally in Himmatnagar was also damaged in the dust storm yesterday.