File photo of Yogi Adityanath. Photograph:( WION )
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth is rushing back from Karnataka tonight, cutting short his election tour amid opposition flak for staying away from his own state even after a storm claimed 75 lives there.
The chief minister will arrive in worst-hit Agra tonight and visit the affected areas tomorrow morning, state's Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi said.
Adityanath will review the relief efforts in the district and then leave for Kanpur and other areas.
He was earlier scheduled to campaign in Karnataka till Saturday noon
Parts of western UP were battered in Wednesday's storm which also struck the adjoining Rajasthan districts.
Over 40 people died in Agra district alone. Altogether, 124 people were killed and over 300 others injured in five states due thunderstorms and lightning in the last two days, the Union Home Ministry said today.
Adityanath was criticised in UP and in Karnataka, where he is campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ahead of the assembly elections on May 12.
"I am sorry your CM is needed here in Karnataka," Siddaramaiah had tweeted. "I am sure he will return soon & attend to his work there."
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, while condoling the deaths, said in a tweet, "CM should immediately return to UP leaving aside campaigning in Karnataka. People have elected him to resolve the problems of their state and not for politics of Karnataka.
If he doesn't rush back even under such circumstances, he should form his own mutt there (in Karnataka) for all times, Yadav tweeted last night.
Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati said despite the calamity, Modi and Adityanath were busy in the Karnataka campaign "only to serve their selfish electoral interests".
In a statement, she said not much should be expected from the government "which has such a narrow mindset".
This is the reason why both the Centre and the state governments of UP and Rajasthan "have remained totally lax and irresponsible" after the loss of life and property, she added.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Raj Babbar described Adityanath as "one of the most irresponsible" chief ministers in the country and a "part-time CM".
"The people elected him to resolve the problems of the state but the chief minister and his ministers are flouting the mandate and are functioning in the capacity of members of the election campaign committee," Babbar said in a statement.
He demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of those killed in the storm.
"The main aim of the government is to serve the people but here the CM is busy campaigning in another state," Babbar said.