West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday hit out at opposition BJP for “doing politics” as the state struggles to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic and the destruction caused due to cyclone Amphan.
“I really feel bad that when we are fighting against COVID-19 and Amphan and working to save lives, some political parties are asking to remove us. I never said that PM Modi should be removed from Delhi,” she said at an event to mark the World Environment Day.
“Is this the time for engaging in politics? Where were they for the last three months? We were working on the ground,” Mamata questioned.
She further asserted that “Bengal will win against both COVID-19 and the conspiracy”.
Listing out the challenges faced by the state like paying government employees and pensioners on time and helping those who have been affected by the cyclone, she said, “Already, 25 lakh farmers who have suffered losses and 5 lakh families who have lost homes have received relief”.
The remarks by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee come a day after West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday questioned the government’s claim that the state suffered losses worth Rs 1 lakh crore due to cyclone Amphan, alleging it was a “ploy to make money in the name of disasters.”
“This is a strategy to make money from these disasters. The CPI(M) had this disease earlier, now it has spread to the Trinamool Congress,” he alleged.
Mamata had earlier said the cyclone, which ravaged West Bengal and parts of Odisha on May 20, had caused an estimated loss of Rs 1 lakh crore in her state.
The BJP leader also mocked Banerjee’s demand to declare the cyclone as a national disaster.
“There is nothing called national disaster. The state government should just tell the Centre the extent of the damage caused,” he said.
On the plight of migrant workers returning to the state, Ghosh said there is shortage of food and water for them.
“The migrant workers are facing problems of food and water. This is the reason many of them are agitating,” he told reporters.
The state BJP chief also said that there is “rampant corruption” among ration dealers in the state, and many have been arrested in this connection.
“The West Bengal government has the maximum amount of money but the majority of it is pocketed by TMC workers,” he alleged.
On the condition of education facilities in the state, Ghosh said “72 per cent” of West Bengal schools function with “only four teachers” while “42 per cent” operate with “only three teachers”.
At the upper primary section, the drop-out percentage is 22 per cent and 21 per cent in the higher secondary section, he said.
“Most of the dropouts are from the Muslim community with which Banerjee has a special affinity,” Ghosh added.
Meanwhile, the TMC has said that the allegations levelled by the saffron party were “completely baseless”.
Meanwhile, as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a seven-member Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) visited Amphan-ravaged West Bengal districts on Thursday to take stock of the overall damage caused by the severe cyclonic storm.