Rahul Gandhi has asked Congress workers at his parliamentary constituency Wayanad, which has been ravaged by floods, to rush to the district in Kerala and help in rescue and relief operations. He said he has also spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send "all possible assistance".
An entire cluster of homes of plantation workers at a tea estate in Wayanad was swept away by a landslide on Thursday evening. Several are trapped under the debris and 200 are injured, officials said. A team of the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire department are at the site.
"Spoke to the Prime Minister seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state, especially in Wayanad. The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate the effects of the disaster," Mr Gandhi tweeted today.
"The flood situation in my parliamentary constituency, Wayanad is grim. I'm monitoring the situation closely & have spoken to the Kerala CM and key Govt officials to expedite relief," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
At least 17 people have died in the floods, officials said, adding the number of dead is likely to rise.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 315 flood relief camps have been opened across the state. "These camps now host 22165 persons from 5936 families. Wayanad district has the most number of camps - 105," Mr Vijayan tweeted.
Schools and colleges are shut in all 14 districts of the southern state today. No university exam will be held today, officials said.
Kerala has already asked the centre to send 10 more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the state. Seven of these teams are expected to reach today. One NDRF team has been already positioned in Idukki.
The flood situation in my parliamentary constituency, #Wayanad is grim. I'm monitoring the situation closely & have spoken to the Kerala CM and key Govt officials to expedite relief.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 8, 2019
I will be reaching out to PM Modi as well to brief him & request Central Govt. assistance. pic.twitter.com/HWN8LXgE4h
"The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts & prayers as they battle raging flood waters. I was to travel to Wayanad, but I've now been advised by officials that my presence will disrupt relief operations. I'm awaiting their OK to travel," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
Mr Gandhi had won from Wayanad with over 12 lakh votes but lost from his second seat Amethi, where he has been winning since 2004, in the national election held in April and May.
It was for the first time that he contested from two constituencies, apart from his traditional Amethi. The BJP had said he contested a second seat as he was nervous in Amethi, though Mr Gandhi asserted it was his outreach to the south.