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.
An entire cluster of homes of plantation workers at a tea estate in Wayanad was swept away by a landslide on Thursday evening. At least 150 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.
“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.
“I will be reaching out to PM (Narendra) Modi as well to brief him & request Central Govt. assistance,” he said.
At least six 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 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.
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.