New Delhi: The opposition parties launched a scathing attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday after the suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Gujarat’s Morbi district collapsed leaving 132 dead.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh questioned if the collapse of the suspension bridge in Morbi district was an “act of God or an act of fraud” while referring to a phrase that Prime Minister Modi had reportedly used at a rally criticising the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal after the Vivekananda Road flyover collapsed on March 31, 2016, leaving several dead.
He also sought a probe into the contractors behind the repair work.
A private operator had carried out the repair work of the bridge for nearly six months before it was reopened to the public on the Gujarati New Year day celebrated on October 26, according to the news agency PTI.
Another Congress leader Randeep Surjewala termed it a “man-made tragedy.” Questioning the BJP over the opening of the bridge, Surjewala said, “Isn’t this a straight criminal conspiracy? How did the BJP government allow the bridge to be opened for public use without a ‘fitness certificate”.
“Was this done in a hurry in a bid to garner votes before the model code of conduct comes into effect,” he said. He questioned whether there are links between the company entrusted with repairing the bridge and the BJP. “How was the work of repairing the bridge given to the company/trust? Do they have connections with the BJP?”
CPI MP Binoy Viswam stressed that the bridge collapse incident hints at the “gross negligence” of the BJP government.
“Cable bridge collapse in Gujarat points to the gross negligence of the BJP government. Its repair was said to be done five days back. Where from the contractors got this courage? The compensation needs to be increased. A reliable enquiry should take place to unveil political involvement,” Viswam tweeted.
Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi appealed to all party workers in the state to extend every possible assistance in the rescue work.
In Gujarat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party has been in power for 27 years, the Narmada canal broke during the first day’s testing at village Bidra in Kutch district in July this year, while an overbridge in Bhuj, which took 8-9 years to build, had to be repaired within a year of commissioning, Singh claimed.