October 3, 2021 5:33:00 am
SENIOR BJP leaders in Bengal, including Suvendu Adhikari, Dilip Ghosh, Rahul Sinha and Sukanta Majumdar, on Saturday blamed the prevailing flood situation in the state on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. They claimed that she was busy campaigning for the Bhabanipur bypoll, ignoring embankment breaches and failing to take timely measures to check the floods.
Even as the chief minister on Saturday sought to lay the blame on the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari accused her of putting lakhs of people in distress just to save her job.
“She is responsible for the floods. She was busy with the Bhabanipur bypoll in a bid to hold on to the chief minister’s chair, while lakhs of people grappled with the floods. Pre monsoon work (to fix holes in embankments), which takes place in February, March and April, was not undertaken this year as the funds for running repairs were diverted for ‘Lakhhir Bhandar’ (state-sponsored scheme aimed at providing monthly income support to women). Rendered weak as the government did not direct funds to fortify them on time, the embankments were breached in the face of rain fury. It is not the DVC’s fault,” Adhikari, the BJP MLA from Nandigram, told mediapersons.
Also lashing out at the CM, BJP vice-president Dilip Ghosh said, “Beyond a certain level, the DVC has to release water. She has her people in the DVC. What were they doing? She has been in power for ten years. What has she done?”
“Her visit, in the name of surveying the flood-hit areas, was nothing but a photo opportunity. There are two members from the state in the DVC committee. How could they not have been aware (of the release of water from the DVC)?” Sukanta Majumdar, who recently took over as the new BJP state chief from Ghosh, said.
“It isn’t man-made flood but ‘she made flood’. The Met office had predicted heavy rainfall. Why did she (Mamata) not take any precautionary measures to prevent breaches in embankments? The embankments weren’t repaired. Her government wasn’t bothered about securing lives and livelihoods. The kind of rainfall that the state has experienced this year hasn’t been seen in the last 80 years. It is in her nature to blame others when she is at fault. I would like to request her to stop politicising the floods and stand with the people. She should convene an all-party meeting at the earliest and send an all-party delegation to the affected areas,” senior BJP leader Rahul Singh said.
However, senior TMC leader and Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim shot back at the BJP, saying, “The DVC should have released water in small amounts. They released 1 lakh cusecs of water at one go, and, over the past few days, 5 lakh cusecs of water were released. There was no need for this. Is this not ‘man-made flood’? Is this because people didn’t vote for you (the BJP)? This sudden release of water at a time when we had managed to gain some control over the rain-related woes, is pre-planned.”
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