Rahul Gandhi’s jibe at Narendra Modi, 15 miners have been struggling for life but PM posing for camera


Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for posing for camera even when over a dozen miners struggled for life in Meghalaya.

Rahul Gandhi

His tweet read, “15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks. Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras. His government refuses to organise high pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners.”

Gandhi’s tweet came two days after the authorities in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district temporarily suspended operations to rescue 15 miners trapped in a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in Ksan area of Lumthari village. The miners have remained trapped here since December 13. According to reports, the decision to suspend the rescue operations came due to inadequate equipment.

According to a report by news agency PTI, the exercise will resume once more powerful pumps are made available to district authorities. District Deputy Commissioner, FM Dopth, told the news agency that miners were trapped in the illegal pit after water from nearby Lytein River gushed into the mine.

About 20 miners on 13 December had entered the quarry owned by Krip Chullet. They entered the horizontal manholes after reaching the bottom of the pit. The horizontal manholes are often described as rat holes because of its thin size as only one person can pass through at any given time.

After the pit was flooded with water, five miners were able to come out of the hole. However, 15 remaining miners remain stuck there.  “We have temporarily suspended pumping of water out of the mine as the exercise did not yield any positive result. The water level has not subsided,” Dopth was quoted as saying.

Modi was in Assam, a neighbouring state of Meghalaya in the north-east, to inaugurate  Bogibeel Bridge. While he posed for camera on the bridge, he has chosen not to tweet anything about the plight of 15 miners.

What’s also baffling is that in a country as developed as India, miners have been left to die due to absence of necessary rescue equipment.