Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Kaiserganj Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has remarked that citizens affected by floods in Uttar Pradesh have been “left at god’s mercy”, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.

He said that he “never saw such poor preparations for flood control and relief”.

In the past week, floods in parts of Uttar Pradesh have caused water to breach embankments, leaving several villages marooned. On Friday, a total of 1,667 villages in 21 districts of the state were inundated, according to the Hindustan Times.

The districts of Gonda and Balrampur, under which the Kaiserganj constituency falls, are among the flood-hit regions.

Singh said that the district administrations were at fault for not ensuring adequate relief measures. “Earlier, meetings were organised with public representatives [for flood control], they were taken into confidence and information was shared,” he said. “But the administration was not serious this time.”

On Thursday, the legislator spoke to mediapersons while sitting on a tractor during an assessment of relief operations. A video of the interaction was shared widely on social media on Saturday.

“It is unfortunate that we cannot even express ourselves,” Singh said, according to News24. “...Speaking is not allowed, one can only listen. People’s representatives are silent.”

The six-time MP claimed that any leaders who speak up would be termed as rebels, and if they give suggestions, no one would listen.

Singh said that he was on a tractor as it was the only available mode of transport in such deep water.

However, Gonda District Magistrate Ujjwal Kumar claimed that relief work was being carried out on a war footing since October 8, The Print reported. He added that flood-hit regions have been divided into zones, and senior officials have been deployed to supervise relief work.

“Flood control room is also active 24X7,” the official said. “So far, 146 revenue villages and 662 hamlets are affected with floods where 489 boats and one platoon each of PAC [Provincial Armed Constabulary] and SDRF [State Disaster Response Force] and four motor boats have been deployed for relief work. 2.28 lakh people are being provided lunch packets at community kitchens.”