The verbal duel between the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on helping stranded pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh in Uttarakhand continued on Friday, with Congress Rajya Sabha MP from the State V. Hanumantha Rao claiming that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu was “playing cheap and dirty politics keeping the 2014 Assembly/Lok Sabha polls in mind”.

However, TDP parliamentary party leader Nama Nageswara Rao denied this and added that but for the support lent by his party in providing transport, food and medical facilities, many people would still have been stranded in flood-hit areas.

The Congress governments both at the Centre and AP had failed to help the pilgrims. Instead of rushing to the field and affected areas, the Ministers and officials were simply camping in the guest houses and giving directions, he said.

Talking to The Hindu , Mr. Hanumantha Rao said just to gain political mileage, the TDP had taken pilgrims who were taking shelter in the Venkateswara Mandapam run by Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) in Dehradun.