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Cyclone Review Meet: Centre discriminating against us over cyclone aid, says Mamata

Banerjee, who attended a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, said that while the Centre has agreed to provide an advance of Rs 400 crore to West Bengal, smaller states such as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were being given Rs 600 crore each.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
May 25, 2021 4:56:06 am
Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged “discrimination” by the Centre in the distribution of funds to the states for relief work in the wake of approaching cyclone Yaas, which is expected to make landfall near Odisha and West Bengal coastline on May 26.

Banerjee, who attended a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, said that while the Centre has agreed to provide an advance of Rs 400 crore to West Bengal, smaller states such as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were being given Rs 600 crore each.

“The Centre is providing more than Rs 600 crore each to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and only Rs 400 crore to Bengal to fight cyclone Yaas. This money is being paid in advance. At the meeting, I wanted to know why West Bengal, despite being a bigger state than Odisha and Andhra Pradesh — both in terms of population density and number of districts — is getting less? Why are we being deprived repeatedly?” Banerjee told reporters during a press conference at the state secretariat after the meeting.

“Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are my sister states. I do not have any problem with what the Centre is providing them. But can you compare Uttar Pradesh with Puducherry? It depends on the population density, history, geography and the boundaries,” the chief minister said.

In view of cyclone Yaas, Shah on Monday held a meeting with chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Banerjee said that Amit Shah after hearing her argument said “scientific views” were taken into consideration before arriving at such decisions. “The Home Minister told me that the matter will be discussed later. He also said that it depends on a scientific view. I did not say anything to that because I have knowledge about political science, but not much on this subject,” said Banerjee.

The chief minister once again reiterated that the Centre failed to provide the state government with any assistance after cyclone Bulbul in 2019 and in the aftermath of the cyclone Amphan.

Banerjee said Rs 1,000-crore assistance provided by the Centre last year after cyclone Amphan was not additional assistance but something that the state deserved.

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