Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Friday cut short his election campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka and returned to his state to review relief work following sandstorms that have killed at least 64 people.
Adityanath is scheduled to arrive in Agra, where at least 43 people were killed, on Friday night and visit areas ravaged by the storm on Saturday, PTI reported. The chief minister will then leave for Kanpur to monitor relief work there and in nearby districts, UP Principal Secretary (Information) Avinash Awasthi said.
The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on May 12, and the results announced on May 15.
Adityanath was to continue campaigning in the state till Saturday noon and leave after addressing two more election meetings. However, he was criticised for continuing on the campaign trail in Karnataka even after the sandstorms.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said on Wednesday, “I am sorry your chief minister [Adityanath] is needed here in Karnataka. I am sure he will return soon and attend to his work there [in Uttar Pradesh]”.
Responding to Siddaramaiah’s tweet, Adityanath said, “Siddaramaiah is perfect in telling lies”, reported The News Minute. “I am personally monitoring relief work in the areas affected due to heavy rain and dust storms in UP. I will visit those areas tomorrow.”
Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said, “The chief minister should leave campaigning for the Karnataka elections immediately and return to UP. “He has been elected to solve the problems of UP, and not to get involved with Karnataka politics.”