Expressing concern over the massive loss of life and property in Uttarakhand floods, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Thursday demanded that the Central government declare the disaster a “national calamity.”

Considering that not only was there loss of life and property in Uttarakhand but also the fact that thousands of pilgrims from all over the country were trapped on the Badrinath-Kedarnath route, Ms. Mayawati said the need of the hour was to extend all possible help to the State for rescue and relief operations.

Instead of leaders and Ministers visiting the State, it would be better if there was genuine ground help out so that people could be rescued and their families do not suffer, she was quoted as saying in a party release issued here.

The BSP leader urged the Prime Minister and the Congress president to take the initiative to immediately declare the disaster a ‘natural calamity’ and provide all help required.

U.P. too should help

Observing that Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh earlier, the former Chief Minister said that it was the duty of the present Uttar Pradesh government also to extend all possible help to the neighbouring State.

She also instructed her party workers in Uttarakhand to help the suffering people.

On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had expressed concern over the loss of life and damaged caused by floods in the Ganga basin and announced financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 25 crore for the government of Uttarakhand.