Godavari Pushkaralu stampede: Opposition guns for Chandrababu Naidu
AP government says documentary shooting has nothing to do with stampede
Hyderabad: Opposition parties, including the YSRC and Congress, intensified their verbal attack on AP CM N. Chandrababu Naidu for the Rajahmundry Pushkar ghat stampede and alleged that the government’s plan for filming huge crowds in a “fish eye view and pan shot” while Mr Naidu was taking a holy dip at Pushkar ghat resulted in the death of 27 persons.
However the AP government communication advisor Parakala Prabhakar refuted the allegations and said the documentary shooting commissioned by the tourism department has nothing to do with the stampede.
The YSRC and Congress alleged that the National Geographic channel was assigned the task of filming the Godavari Pushkaralu to make a documentary for national and international screening. The YSRC alleged that to make it appear that a large number of people were in a shot while filming during Mr Naidu’s puja, officials ensured more crowd at the Pushkar ghat.
YSRC spokesperson Vasireddy Padma said on Wednesday, “It was the multi-camera set-up and the documentary film that was planned to elevate Mr Naidu for the Pushkar arrangements that delayed the milling devotees for three hours resulting in the tragedy. He stayed there for over two hours to enable the cameras to film his devotional fervour while hundreds of pilgrims were left outside for hours and deprived of the opportunity to have a holy dip at the auspicious moment on sunrise.”
She alleged, “Mr Naidu stayed back for more than two hours to enable the cameras to film him and his family having the holy bath even as devotees who came from far off places were kept out of bounds. The camera crew which panned every moment of Mr Naidu could not film the agony of the crowd.”
Mr Parakala Prabhakar said the “Tourism department had commissioned the documentary shooting. Like any other channel they may be there at all places. The stampede has nothing to do with the documentary shooting. No crowd was stalled for this.”
Telugu Desam counters Jagan Mohan
The TD countered the Congress and the YSRC, which have been demanding the resignation of CM N. Chandrababu Naidu for Tuesday’s stampede, by questioning why YSR had not quit following similar incidents during his rule.
Addressing Mr Reddy, TD leader Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu said, “Your father did not resign after the stampede during the Krishna Pushkaralu in which five pilgrims were killed and not even after a stampede at the Durga temple in which seven pilgrims were killed.”
( Source : deccan chronicle )