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Bobby Jindal's hurricane handling comes in for more praise

Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 20:20 Hrs
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New York: Louisiana's Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal, who has been praised for his handling of the situation after Hurricane Gustav hit the state last week, has come in for more commendation from South Asian journalists who covered the disaster.

"Jindal is very methodical and planned out - the exact guy you want to be in charge during a situation like this," said Sanjay Gupta, CNN's medical correspondent who had to cut short his holiday to cover Gustav.

Gupta was speaking at a discussion Tuesday among some South Asian journalists who were on the frontline of covering Gustav. The discussion was organised and webcast by South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA).

Gupta contrasted the leadership shown by Republican Jindal to the tardy response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago when the governor was Democrat Kathleen Blanco.

While agreeing that Gustav's intensity was much less than that of Katrina, and the levee did not break this time, it only overtopped, Gupta recalled: "I had watched on television the announcement from Governor Blanco's office about a certain hospital that had been evacuated. But within an hour I started getting messages on my BlackBerry from dwindling BlackBerrys of doctors in that hospital that they were still there and the lights were out."

Roop Raj of WDSU, an NBC affiliate in New Orleans, praised Jindal's transparency, availability and the type of resources he tapped into while handling the hurricane hit. He added that Jindal being close to President George W. Bush received federal support too.

"People of Louisiana by and large think the governor has done a good job. Even state Democrats are pleased with the way Jindal has handled the crisis," Raj said.

Others participating in the SAJA discussion were CNN's Ali Velshi and CBS's Priya David.

In anticipation of Hurricane Ike, which has entered Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to possibly hit parts of Louisiana Sep 13, Jindal declared a State of Emergency Sep 7.
Source: IANS
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