<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While people in flood affected districts are battling with the fury of nature, political leaders are busy with a bitter battle of words. The one to up the ante in the very verbose Minister of Rural Development Rajendra Rathore and in the firing line is the state Congress chief Sachin Pilot.Rathore has come out heavily on Pilot and accused him of politicising the floods. He issued a statement accusing Pilot of waking up from slumber 198 hours (almost eight days) after the floods hit the state. “When Pilot reached to the victims they asked him when he was so late in meeting them. This is the reason why he is making these false allegation against the government, saying that government did not provide relief to the victims in the initial 48 hours after the floods,” read his statement. The truth of the matter is that the chief minister did not waste even 48 seconds in initiating relief works, Rathore’s statement read. Sachin Pilot along with leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi is on a two day visit to flood affected districts. Pilot had on Monday visited several affected areas and met the people. He had targeted the state government for not doing enough for the flood affected. He had demanded that state government speed up the relief process.Taking the opposition by the horns, Rathore went on accuse them of not contributing to relief fund. “Not a single penny was given by the leaders of Congress. Nor did they take part in the relief works in the areas worst affected by the flood.They have been too late in reacting to the situation and so they are making baseless statement to cover up,” said the minister. He added that the chief minister Vasundhara Raje had resonded on the very first day, asked ministers in charge of districts to camp in the affected areas. “She also went in the flood affected areas and personally monitored the rescue and relief works. It was due to her immediate response that 1309 persons have been rescued in the operations so far,” said Rathore.Incidentally, Rathore is not the first minister to spring to the government’s defense post Pilot’s statement. Health minister Kalicharan too had questioned the Congress about the whereabouts of Congress MLAs from Gujarat while the state suffered similar calamity.

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Verbal battle over nature’s fury begins