Rahul urges PM to increase Army, Navy deployment in Kerala

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and requested him to increase the deployment of Army and Navy in flood-hit Kerala and give special financial assistance to the state.

Gandhi spoke to the Prime Minister over phone and announced it on Twitter. He noted that the tragedy is unparalleled in Kerala’s history and the state is in “great pain.”

Expressing concern over the flood situation in Kerala, he took to Twitter to make a fervent appeal to people for help by contributing to the chief minister’s relief fund.

He tagged the link of the chief minister’s relief fund to his tweet asking people to contribute, and said “it is time to step up and help.”

“Kerala is in great pain. I spoke to PM and requested him to massively increase deployment of the Army and Navy. I also said that it is critical that he gives the state special financial assistance as this is a tragedy without parallel in Kerala’s history,” he said on Twitter.

“I am deeply concerned for the people of #Kerala tonight, as the flood waters rise. Thousands are stranded. Relief camps full. Many have lost their loved ones. It’s time to step up & help. Please contribute generously to the CM’s relief fund (sic),” he had in another tweet.

The death toll in the current phase of monsoon fury in the southern state has touched 72. Rise in flood waters in Periyar River due to the rains and opening of all shutters of all major dams, including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar, have severely affected lives of people in downstream areas.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan once again called up Prime Minister Modi and apprised him of the flood situation in the state. The state has also sought the services of additional Army personnel and helicopters and the Prime Minister has assured all help, Vijayan said.

Kochi Metro suspended operations this morning after flood waters entered the Muttom yard near Aluva, and train services have been affected in various parts of the state with cancellation of many passenger trains and partial cancellation of some long distance train.