NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi is taking a short break from election campaigning in south Gujarat on Thursday morning and fly to Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli where a boiler blast at a power plant has killed 18 people and injured nearly 100.
The blast took place in the 500 MW power generating unit that was commissioned in March this year.
Soon after reports of the blast came in, Mr Gandhi tweeted his condolences from Gujarat and asked the Yogi Adityanath government to help the victims. By late evening, the Congress vice president, however, decided that he should be in the constituency that has sent his mother Sonia Gandhi to the Lok Sabha since 2004.
Rae Bareli has been a pocket borough of the Nehru-Gandhi family for decades. Indira Gandhi was elected from Raebareli in the 1960s and also in 1980. Her husband Feroze Gandhi held the seat in the 1950s.
"Due to the unfortunate NTPC accident, I will visit Rae Bareli tomorrow morning. Will join Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra in the afternoon," Mr Gandhi tweeted from south Gujarat.
He had reached Gujarat earlier on Wednesday on a three-day visit to cover 35 of the Gujarat's 182 constituencies where he is aiming to
Union Power Minister RK Singh has told NTPC chairman to visit the plant.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Mauritius on a three-day official visit, has ordered Rs.2 lakh for the families of the dead and Rs. 50,000 for the badly injured.
Condoling the deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi later said the situation was being closely monitored and officials ensuring normalcy is restored.