West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday alleged the Centre was not providing the funds which were due to the state, claiming that the money would have helped the state carry out relief work in the Cyclone ‘Bulbul’-hit areas. “Around Rs 17,000 crore is due to us from the Centre. If they had given us that due amount, we could have used that to carry out relief works,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat on Thursday.
She expressed hope that Bengal will get all the help and assistance Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured on cyclone relief. On Wednesday, the chief minister said that the loss incurred by the state due to the cyclone might go up to Rs 50,000 crore. “We have asked Centre to send teams to visit cyclone-hit areas,” Mamata was quoted as saying by PTI.
On Wednesday, she told officials to not see the “colour of people and distribute relief to all”, at an administrative review meeting hereafter conducting an aerial survey of cyclone-hit areas of North 24 Parganas district.
Her reaction comes a day after Union minister Babul Supriyo faced massive protests and was asked to go back by a group of people when he had visited South 24 Parganas district to take stock of the situation in cyclone Bulbul-ravaged areas.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has echoed Mamata’s views that there should not be any politics over distribution of relief material to people affected by Cyclone Bulbul.
“I urge people not to do politics. The moment you put politics into governance it will somewhere damage the fabric of democracy,” he said.
She said she would write to the Centre in connection with the dues. The CM also asked people to refrain from playing politics in relief distribution.
“It was a big cyclone. Instead of standing by the affected people, some are playing politics and indulging in vandalism. I would urge them to refrain from it. This is not the time to do politics,” she said. The individuals or “those acting like BJP mouthpiece who are playing dirty games” should stop, the chief minister said.
Banerjee also stressed that the central and the state governments have specific roles to play and they must work together in this situation.
-With PTI inputs