Amid criticism, UP CM cuts short Karnataka trip to reach storm-ravaged Agra today

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth, currently on an election campaign in Karnataka, is rushing back on Friday night to visit storm-ravaged Agra, a senior official said.

The update comes soon after National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah said someone should ask UP CM Adityanath why campaigning in Karnataka is a bigger priority than visiting some of the families, who lost their loved ones in the dust storms.

”If you do an interview with the CM of UP & don’t ask him why campaigning in Karnataka is a bigger priority than visiting some of the families who lost loved ones in the dust storms then it’s a puff piece, not an interview,” the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The chief minister will arrive in Agra tonight and visit the calamity-hit areas on Saturday morning, Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi said.

Adityanath was criticised on Thursday by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah for remaining in Karnataka even after his own state was hit by the storm.

“I am sorry your CM is needed here in Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah had tweeted. “I am sure he will return soon & attend to his work there.”

Adityanath will review the relief and restoration efforts in Agra district, the UP official said.

The chief minister will later leave for Kanpur to monitor the relief work there and in nearby districts, Awasthi said.

A high-intensity storm ravaged parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night, leaving 73 people dead and 91 injured in Adityanath’s state alone.

Agra district was the worst hit, accounting for 43 deaths and injuries to 51 others.

Adityanath was earlier scheduled to campaign in poll-bound Karnataka till Saturday noon.