The raging internal rift in the ruling Congress has subsided for the time being with rebel MLAs suspending their agitation till the chaos created by the massive rain and landslips in Uttarakhand is countered effectively.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the rebel MLAs — Harish Dhami, Manoj Tiwari, Mayukh Mehar, Lalit Farswan, Hemesh Kharkwal and Narayan Ram Arya — said they had decided to suspended the agitation for development in their constituencies till the government managed to normalise the drastic situation created by heavy rain, flash floods and landslips across the State.

“We are rushing back to our constituencies to oversee relief work. We will renew our crusade for development when things get back to normal,” said Mr. Dhami and Mr. Mehar.

It may be mentioned that these MLAs had, over the past fortnight, raised much hue and cry accusing Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna of neglecting development in their constituencies. Much heat was added to their campaign with Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal justifying their anger and saying that Uttarakhand had surpassed Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as far as corruption was concerned.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has postponed its jail bharo programme and asked its workers to fan out to disaster-hit areas and assist victims. State unit chief Tirath Singh Rawat left for the disaster-hit spots in the Garhwal region. Describing the postponement of the visit of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as unfortunate, Mr. Rawat said it would have been better if Mr. Shinde had toured the calamity-hit areas. He urged the Centre to immediately release Rs.1,000 crore for disaster relief and give more to Uttarakhand at the earliest.