The opposition can criticise the government, but the state machinery is busy in relief and rescue operations following Cyclone Titli and the resultant floods, Odisha Chief Mister Naveen Patnaik said on Saturday in response to allegation that the BJD dispensation "failed" to tackle the calamities.
The Opposition parties alleged that despite India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast on October 9 about the cyclone and the subsequent floods, the Odisha government "failed" to tackle the situation.
"If the Opposition wants to criticise, they can do so. We are busy in relief and rehabilitation work in cyclone and flood-hit areas," Patnaik told reporters when asked about the opposition attack on the state government.
Claiming that the disaster was the "biggest single calamity" after the super cyclone of 1999, Patnaik said this time the wind velocity was more than 160 km per hour.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in a statement said the wind velocity was at 165 km/hour and was a very severe cyclonic storm.
"What it (cyclone) could have caused and what it caused is before the people to judge. It is very unfortunate that some political parties don't want to give credit to those volunteers, government employees and people's representatives who have worked day and night to evacuate more than three lakh people," BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik tweeted, "BJD govt is patting its own back by saying they have handled #CycloneTitli well but this is far from reality. Truth is that the govt was caught napping despite several warnings from Met. Dept. Thousands of people are stranded in affected areas. They must be helped immediately (sic)."
BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, "The state government has completely failed to take stock of the situation which is why people in several districts of Odisha, especially in CM Naveen Patnaik's home district Ganjam, are grappling with flood situation.
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