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BJP leader’s ‘onus on people who can’t handle it’ remark on Joshimath

Dehradun: BJP leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has said that in a democracy, responsibility often comes to people who are not in a position to handle it.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Mr Rawat purportedly says in reply to a question on the land-subsidence crisis in Joshimath that “the onus rests on everyone in a democracy, some of them are wise, some less wise and some still less wise”.

“It is an irony and even beauty of a democracy that people in this system elect their representatives. So, sometimes the onus or the responsibility comes to people who cannot handle it. That leads to problems,” Mr Rawat said.

As many as 849 houses in Joshimath have developed cracks following land subsidence and 258 families have been moved to temporary relief centres, officials said. Mr Rawat resigned as Uttarakhand chief minister in March 2021 and was succeeded by Tirath Singh Rawat, who too quit within four months, passing the baton to incumbent Pushkar Singh Dhami.

On the dismantling of District Development Authorities (DDAs) which were set up during his tenure as chief minister, the BJP leader said they were created in view of Uttarakhand’s high seismic vulnerability.

“They (DDAs) were created so that infrastructural and development projects could be carried out in a planned manner,” Mr Rawat said, adding it hurts to think of their dismantling.

Tirath Singh Rawat who had succeeded Trivendra Rawat as chief minister had dismantled the DDAs.

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