Kashmir Floods
Residents being evacuated from a flood-hit region in KashmirReuters

Even as flood waters are starting to recede in the battered state of Jammu and Kashmir, anger is swelling among residents against authorities for not effectively handling the worst crisis to have hit the state in almost six decades.

On Wednesday, six lakh people still remained stranded, many on their rooftops without food and water for days, even though valiant efforts of the armed forces and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) helped rescue more than 75,000 people over the last few days.

Given the extreme situation in the state, locals have turned angry, and on Wednesday, a NDRF official was brutally attacked by frantic residents during rescue operations, while several others were heckled.

In several areas in Srinagar, rescue choppers were unable to land as locals threatened to stone them. Four Air Force helicopters, carrying supplies, could not land at the helipad at the Governor's residence on Wednesday, due to threats of stoning, according to NDTV.

In the wave of rising anger against the state government, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah seems to have wiped his hands off any responsibility for the unprecedented magnitude of the floods.

"What can I do. I didn't bring the rain, nor can I stop it. If I could, I would have done that," Abdullah told ANI.

Asked if the government had done enough in averting such a drastic situation, Abdullah told media in interviews that "the flood is unprecedented; such a crisis has never happened in a century. How can you plan for a situation that has never occurred in a century?".

There are also allegations against the government for not heeding the meteorological department's weather warning of continuous rains over the last week, and not acting swiftly in ensuring people move to safer, higher grounds.

This ignored warning has cost hundreds of lives, with the toll crossing 200 and threatening to rise as hours pass.

However, Abdullah absolved himself and his government of the blame of 'not waking up until the last minute'.

"More often than not, people ignore warnings. The evening before the situation became grave, we had announcements from mosques and police vehicles asking people to move to higher ground. But they did not heed the warning. If they would have vacated when they were asked to, the problem would have been halved?," he said. 

Will Kashmir Floods Delay State Elections?

There are now strong indications that the assembly elections slated to be held in Jammu and Kashmir in November and December this year could be delayed as the state reels under its worst flood crisis.

The Election Commission on Wednesday called off its J&K visit, in yet another indication that the polls will be delayed this year. They cancelled the schedule tour meant for assessment of the preparation for the elections.

The J&K Assembly has to be reconstituted by the month of January.

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