Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said Wednesday that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had failed to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) with regard to the organisation of the Maha Pushkaram on the banks of the River Godavari, and this had led to Tuesday’s stampede that claimed 29 lives.
In a series of tweets, Digvijay Singh said, “There has to be standard operating procedures for such religious occasions where huge crowds are expected. Sorry to hear the sad incident of stampede at Maha Pushkaram. My condolences to the bereaved Families.”
He then asked, “Would Chandra Babu learn from organisers of Kumbh Melas? Or he won’t as he is Mr. Know All?”
Singh’s criticism of the arrangements at Rajamundry came a day after 29 people were killed and over 60 injured in a stampede during the Maha Pushkaram, a Hindu religious bathing festival on the banks of the River Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.
The incident happened around 8 a.m. on Tuesday soon after Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his family had taken their holy dip and left the place.
Some pilgrims trying to retrieve their shoes which had fallen off in the rush triggered the stampede.
Naidu has since visited the mishap site and the hospitals, and described the mishap as an unfortunate loss of lives despite taking all precautions to make the event safe.
Naidu also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased and ordered that the incident be probed by the relevant authorities.