Stop playing politics with disasters, Kirti Azad tells Digvijay Singh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Kirti Azad on Monday accused Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh of always trying to play politics when disasters hit any part of the country. Describing Singh's response to Sunday's Ratangarh Temple stampede in Madhya Pradesh's Datia District as unfortunate, Azad questioned the former's consistent desire to make political capital out of such incidents. "I think Mr. Digvijay Singh always tries to play politics during the time of disaster at the time when we should be with the families, showing our emotions and being together sharing their grief. Mr. Digvijay Singh doesn't lose a single opportunity to make a political statement out of disasters, which is unfortunate," he told ANI in New Delhi. Digvijay Singh yesterday criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh Government, and said that despite a stampede near the temple in 2006, the police and the administration were caught napping. "Postings of collectors and SPs in districts are made on the basis of the money they fetch," Singh said. "This is a common practice in the BJP regime and those getting postings in this fashion care two hoots for action in the event of a lapse on their part. I am told that policemen were taking Rs. 200 for letting tractor-trolleys pass the bridge, which led to the stampede," he added. Meanwhile, the death toll in the Ratangarh temple stampede in Datia district has risen to 109. The stampede was triggered by rumours that the river bridge the devotees were crossing was about to collapse. "Some people spread a rumor that the bridge was falling. Their objective was to reach the temple quickly. They were unable to go due to a massive crowd. This led to the stampede," said Deputy Inspector General Dilip Kumar Arya. The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the untoward incident in which more than 100 people were injured on the bridge over Sindh River near Ratangarh temple. Survivors alleged that some people spread the rumor that the bridge was on the verge of collapse, resulting in panic. "My mother is dead and six people from my village were also killed. People were leaving from both exits after worshipping the Goddess. Suddenly, police arrived. They began shouting that the bridge had broken and they charged the devotees with batons," said Vipul Pathak, a man who lost his mother in the incident. (ANI) Stop playing politics with disasters Kirti Azad tells Digvijay Singh ****************************************************** I don't think that raising the issue of a Stampede that killed people is within the responsibility of not only politicians, but also of citizens. There is nothing wrong in that. However, politics should not be played in such lamentable situations. There is no doubt that the Administrative bandobast was lacking and that led to the disaster and there is no gainsaying that it was not so. I heard a TV Debate, where Kiran Bedi and Mr PS Paschricha, a ex DG of police said that the disaster was because of the Administration who is responsible and not politicians. Nirmala Sitaraman raised the issue that since the Code of Conduct was in place, Minsters could not be there at the festival or else it would be a case of using the opportunity for 'votes' and that would raise protest from the opposing side. She also said that after the 2006 disaster, roads, the bridge, etc was built to stave off calamities en route to the Temple and it was incorrect to state that the MP Govt has done nothing after the 2006 disaster. Another interesting issue raised was that there had been no disaster since till this one, where the politicians were unable to go because of the Code of Conduct being in place because of the coming elections. Further, Digvijay Singh's contention that the Administration of a District is totally organised to serve the political party in power, even if it is truism, it is so all over India, to include Congress rule States. However, the wily fox that Digvijay Singh is, when asked by Barkha Dutt if he supported the contention of Kapil Sibal that Congress saved millions in Odisha while the BJP failed to save 500 in MP, he neatly sidestepped that he neither supported mor opposed since he had come to the programme as only Mr Digvijay Singh. When pressed if he thought the CM should resign as demanded by the Congress, he said that he did not think so. Kapil Sibal, the copyrighted motor mouth's demand that the CM resigns would be valid if the Congress CMs too had resigned when similar disasters hit their States as in Maharastra. The hypocrite in Kapil Sibal stood out like a sore thumb. And he did come out to be an unlettered oaf, even though he had been a Minister in some Ministry dealing with Science to claim that the Met Dept foretold better than the US and the National Disaster Management did well, sly implying that it was because of the Congress. I wonder why he left the Defence Forces for doing a good job. I am sure they are doing a good job all because of the Congress, right Mr Sibal? How foolish can these politicians get? The Govt depts do well because of their own dynamics and not due to political parties. The National Disaster Management has done well because of their experience through their failures at the disaster in Badrinath Kedarnath. And if anyone can take credit for the Cyclone Management, it is the State Govts of Odisha and AP, under whom the District Administration rose like a well oiled machine. Politicians should learn that India of today is not India of a few years before, where it could be fooled. It is a better educated and a better informed Nation. If anyone is fooling themselves, it is the politicians and people like Kapil Sibal are coming out of clowns which are a rarity these days since genuine circuses have practically been defunct. These circuses have been replaced by the Political parties and their clowns and jesters.