Terms it a ploy to divert attention from Bahuguna government’s failure to provide relief

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has described Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna’s announcement that prayers would resume at the Kedarnath temple from September 11 as a ploy to divert attention from his government’s failure to provide relief to flood-ravaged villages even 75 days after the mid-June catastrophe.

The government is trying to rush the resumption of prayers at Kedarnath even before clearing the area of debris and hundreds of bodies buried under it, BJP State president Tirath Singh Rawat told reporters here.

The government had taken the decision without taking the purohit samaj into confidence. Most of the purohits want the prayers to be resumed only after the entire shrine area was cleansed and purified and approach roads and tracks were restored, Mr. Rawat said.

Mr. Rawat, who returned after a tour of flood-ravaged districts, said residents did not have proper food, shelter or medicines. The government should first reach out to these villages.

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