"The primary focus should be providing immediate relief to the flood victims so that they can survive the coming winter and also on taking measures for their permanent rehabilitation so that they can move on with their lives," CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters at the conclusion of his three-day visit to the flood-affected areas in the state.

Asked about the timing of assembly election due later this year in the state, he said the democratic process should continue.

"How and when? The election commission in consultation with the political parties in the state will decide. I believe that this process is going on but it should not detract from providing relief to the flood victims," he said.

Yechury said his party will raise the issue of rehabilitation of flood victims in Delhi and demand that the centre declare the natural calamity as a national disaster.

"All the provisions of the act pertaining to declaring floods as national disaster should be given to the victims. This is not a favour or charity by the Centre or state governments but the duty and right of the affected people," he said.

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