Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a focussed man. This is perhaps why he is head and shoulders above his political rivals when it comes to winning elections. No wonder he continued to carry on with his election campaigning in Gujarat even as the Cyclone Ockhi left dozens dead in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Modi took time off to post few tweets on the natural calamity affecting hundreds of thousands of population, but his emphasis lay on Gujarat, where his party, the BJP is facing its toughest test since 1995.
One of Modi’s tweets said, “With #CycloneOckhi expected to make a landfall in Gujarat, I appeal to @BJP4Gujarat Karyakartas to focus on helping people across the state. Our Karyakartas should devote themselves to providing all possible assistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens.”
This tweet instantly evoked angry reactions from many, who detected a glaring insensitivity and utter sense of political opportunism. Others wondered if Modi was indeed the prime minister of the entire country or he only represented Gujarat.
There is Cyclone in TamilNadu-Andhra and There is election in Gujarat.. RT if you know where our PM Modi will visit..?
— Saloni (@Saloni_shines) December 3, 2017
“Modi felt the need to comment on Ockhi only when the cyclone hit his home state. It is strange Modi could not find time during the last six days when the cyclone wrecked havoc in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, to console the people.”
– Kanam Rajendran (CPI state secretary – Kerala) pic.twitter.com/UlMrjiXYJI
— Advaid (@Advaidism) December 6, 2017
Huge cyclone disaster in South Tamilnadu, Kerala & Lakhadweep. Hundreds of fishermen missing at sea. But Modi has no interest ‘cos no elections due in the three places. #CycloneOckhi
— Sasidharan Pazhoor (@inquestioner) December 1, 2017
Narendra Modi is the only PM who has had the luxury to address a campaign rally in Dahod amidst, Lakshadweep and southern India is hit by cyclone.
— Being Political (@BeingPolitical5) December 6, 2017
— My Fellow Indians (@MyFellowIndians) December 1, 2017
Modi’s political bete noire, Hardik Patel, took a dig at the prime minister when he asked people in Gujarat not to rely on the state administration since everyone else was ‘serving the saheb.’
His tweet read, “Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in Gujarat. All of you go to safe places, do not rely on administration as they are busy serving the ‘Saheb.’”
Cyclone Ockhi, before it lost steam, claimed at least 39 lives while 167 fishermen were still missing after it hit the Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts.