UP CM cuts short Karnataka campaign amid criticism, rushing back

Lucknow, May 4 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth, currently on an election campaign in Karnataka, is rushing back on Friday night to visit storm-ravaged Agra, a senior official said today.

The chief minister will arrive in Agra tonight and visit the calamity-hit areas tomorrow morning, Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi said.

Adityanath was criticised yesterday by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for remaining in Karnataka even after his own state was hit by the storm.

“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.”

The post sparked a twitter battle with Adityanath’s advisor Mrityunjay Kumar immediately responding to Siddaramiah’s tweet that had gone viral.

“Yogiji doesn’t sleep (over problems) as you do. He had issued necessary instructions for relief and rehabilitation even before he reached Karnataka. He is a Yogi and his life is dedicated to the people,” Kumar said in his post tagged to Siddaramaiah.

The official handle of the chief minister’s office @CMOfficeUP too also tweeted how UP government provided immediate help to the needy. “Within 24 hours the families of the 70 dead were provided financial relief of Rs 4 lakh each and 123 families who lost their livestock due to storm too were provided relief,” the post read.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also joined the twitter war, siding with the Congress in reminding Yogi that he was more required in UP than in Karnataka. “He should have returned immediately back to UP where people elected him to get their problems resolved and not for (participating) in Karnataka politics. If he doesn’t return back he should set up his Mutt there permanently,” Akhilesh tweeted tagging his post to @CMOfficeUP.

At least 64 people, including 43 in Agra, were killed and dozens injured as thunderstorms and rains lashed four districts of western Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday night .

Adityanath will review the relief and restoration efforts in Agra district, the UP official said.

The chief minister will later leave for Kanpur to monitor the relief work there and in nearby districts, Awasthi said.

A high-intensity storm ravaged parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night, leaving 73 people dead and 91 injured in Adityanath’s state alone.

Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for 43 deaths and injuries to 51 others.

Adityanath was earlier scheduled to campaign in poll-bound Karnataka till Saturday noon.

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