Reaching out to the people of his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, devastated by landslips triggered by the recent rains, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he would continue to put pressure on the centre and state government to ensure that those affected were justly compensated.
In Kerala for the second time this month, the Wayanad MP also said he will raise in Parliament the issue of crop loss in the floods.
Gandhi tweeted "Im in my parliamentary constituency, Wayanad for the next few days, visiting flood relief camps and reviewing rehabilitation work in the area. Much has been accomplished, but theres so much more that still needs to be done."
Addressing people at Cherupuzha in Mananthavady, Gandhi said during floods, it did not matter which religion, community or political party one belonged to, everybody worked together to fight the deluge.
"In today's atmosphere you are a huge example to the whole country... The country can learn a lesson from you. Only when the country stands together,it progresses," he said.
Gandhi said he had written and spoken to the Prime Minister and state Chief Minister and told them that Wayanad was in "serious need" of their help. The congress leader also sought the support of Kerala's ruling left in the development of Wayanad.
"We can continue to fight ideologically, but we can also have a vision for the development of Wayanad," he said.
Gandhi, who arrived here Tuesday on a second visit to the consitutency this month, said he will stand with the people of his constituency and make sure that everyone gets compensated for the loss suffered during the second spell of the South West Monsoon rains from August 8.
The Wayanad MP met people in various relief camps and distributed relief materials, listened to their woes and comforted them.
Some said their houses had been destroyed and lands washed away, while others complained that the initial relief amount of Rs 10,000 from the state government was yet to reach them.
Gandhi assured them that he would once again urge the state government to provide all necessary assistance to the affected people.
A weeping woman said she had no place to go back to from the relief camp. People also told him that their children were finding it difficult to go to school from the camp after the disaster as most of them had lost their books, bags and other things.
"We all are very poor people. We don't have money to re-construct the houses we lost. People don't have money too. We also lack jobs here", one of the flood-hit people told Gandhi at a meeting attended by flood victims and local leaders at Makhiyad.
"People have certain rights and government has to follow certain rules. One such rule is that those who lost their home must be compensated. I am not the Chief Minister of the state. We don't have the government here (in state) nor there in the centre. But it's my responsibility to stand with you and help you to claim your rights. I will put pressure on governments to make sure you all get compensated... to make sure roads are repaired on time," Gandhi, who is on a four-day visit, said.
Though he was extremely saddened that his constituency was hit by a tragedy of this magnitude, Gandhi said he was proud to represent the people of Wayanad who never lost their confidence and self-respect in this trying time where many have lost their family members, homes, land and belongings.
".. I must tell you, in my last visit, I was quite surprised by the reaction of people of Wayanad in the face to the tragedy they faced. I have been to many tragedy-hit places in the country."
"Normally when a disaster hits, people are very emotional and sometimes people lose their self-respect, confidence and dignity. But Wayanad was different. Even after the tragedy not a single person lost their self-respect or their confidence. They maintained their dignity....," he told the crowd.
He said he was very proud the way people of Wayanad reacted to the tragedy.
"I am proud that I represent you.I am not saying that I will solve every single problem you have. But I will stand by you through everything you face..., to understand the issues faced by you and work with you to resolve those problems you face," he said.
Gandhi visited various camps and distributed relief materials and visted the flood affected Chomadipoyil colony at Edavaka panchayat.