Bengal Guv tells Mamata not to inflate figures on losses due to cyclone Amphan
Dhankhar’s tweets came after CM Banerjee said that the estimated loss due to the cyclone was Rs 1 lakh crore. She has said that 1 crore people have been rendered homeless due to the cyclone.Updated: May 25, 2020 08:11 IST
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said that the army could have been called in for the restoration works three days ago had the chief minister maintained contacts with him. He also advised to chief minister Mamata Banerjee not to an exaggerated report to the Centre on the losses due to cyclone Amphan.
His tweets coming at a time large swathes of south Bengal was yet to limp back to normalcy has triggered a controversy.
“Urge @MamataOfficial: Be in touch with Guv – had this been done army could have been called 3 days back,” Dhankhar wrote on Twitter in English and Bengali.
I have directed all authorities to attend to RAJ BHAWAN in last ONLY AFTER NORMALCY IS RESTORED IN CITY— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 24, 2020
URGE @MamataOfficial :BE IN TOUCH WITH GUV-HAD THIS BEEN DONE ARMY WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED 3 DAYS BACK
SHARE REAL LOSS @PMOIndia :INFLATING FIGURES IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE(2/2)
The state government called in the army on Saturday to clear the roads of the fallen trees.
In another advice to the chief minister, the governor wrote, “Share real loss @PMOIndia: Inflating figures is counter-productive.”
His tweets came after CM Banerjee said that the estimated loss due to the cyclone was Rs 1 lakh crore. She has said that 1 crore people have been rendered homeless due to the cyclone. Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi has initially approved Rs 1,000 crore assistance to the state government for the immediate requirement in the restoration work.
On Sunday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders supported Dhankhar’s statement. “The governor has voiced the concerns of the whole state of Bengal. People are apprehensive of corruption by the state administration because of the examples they had set on earlier occasions. The CM is only talking about money. Why is she seeking money only? The Centree needs to investigate every claim of the state government,” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.
After the aerial survey, PM Modi had said that he had spoken to Mamata Banerjee and Dhankhar and had decided that a detailed survey needed to be done to review the extent of the damage.
The CM on Saturday had urged district officials to prepare reports of damage and losses very carefully so that the Central teams that are likely to visit the state to investigate the extent of the losses could be properly briefed.
On Sunday, Derek O’Brien, the national spokesperson of the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress, said that 6 crore people have been directly affected by the cyclone. Bengal’s population stood slightly above 9 crore in 2011 and is estimated to be around 10 crore at present.
“It’s extremely unfortunate if the governor stoops too low, especially at the hour of such a crisis. I am especially shocked with his reaction because he himself accompanied PM Modi and the chief minister during the aerial survey of the affected areas. If he still thinks that the losses were not mammoth, we simply have nothing else to say,” said TMC spokesperson Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, a Lok Sabha member.
On social media, many netizens took digs at the governor for “doing politics in the time of a crisis”.