At a time when anti-BJP and pro-Trinamul Congress people have started criticising the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista today attacked the state government for it alleged reluctance to take care of ASHA workers, frontline warriors in the fight against Covid-19.

“I am deeply saddened that despite my request to the Darjeeling district administration to ensure proper safety and security of ASHA workers, the West Bengal government has not taken any step to help and assist them,” Mr Bista said.

The Darjeeling MP also prayed for the early recovery of one such frontline Covid warrior, a 35-year-old ASHA worker from Tamsong Tea Estate, who has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“I have requested West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union Health Minister Dr Harsha Vardhan to ensure the insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person announced by the central government and Rs 10 lakh announced by the WB government to frontline health workers who are working to tackle the Covid-19 illness and face the highest risk of contracting the illness,” Mr Bista added in a release.

“ASHA workers continue to render their services to the society at such critical times, but I am informed that they have not been paid their salaries or increment till date. “They also do not have any insurance and are being forced to work without proper protection such as PPE kits, masks and other equipment,” he added.