Infighting in Bengal Trinamool Congress over Cyclone Amphan relief work, Opposition BJP says proves its charge
A Trinamool Congress leader was injured in a such protest over restoration of electricity in a locality in Kolkata on Tuesday.Updated: May 27, 2020 08:54 IST
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal is facing flak for the cyclone relief work in the state. And it’s not just the Opposition, even those within the party have raised their voices.
State minister Sadhan Pande blamed the TMC-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for “lack of planning” in dealing with the crisis.
“Had there been proper planning, the cyclone crisis could have been averted in a much better way. There was no proper planning. None of us was also consulted on how this crisis could be dealt with in a much better way,” Pande said. “Anybody who fails to perform should resign from his post. The chairman of KMC didn’t call any meeting of the MLAs of the city. Firhad Hakim should have consulted his predecessor Sovan Chatterjee,” he alleged.
Senior TMC leader and Chairman of Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administrators Firhad Hakim hit back by saying “it is easy to lecture others by sitting inside AC rooms”.
“Why is he criticising now? What was he doing for the last one week? He should have come to KMC with an alternative plan. All of our officials and staff are busy in restoration work because we believe it is easier to criticise than to work,” he said.
Cyclone Amphan, which ravaged the state last week, claimed 86 lives and left thousands without power and other basic necessities. Many parts of state capital Kolkata are also without electricity and the residents are protesting against the state administration.
A TMC leader was injured in one such protest while trying to persuade the protesters.
Residents of Kanchantala locality in the Port area started a road blockade on Tuesday evening as electricity was not restored even six days after cyclone hit the state, police said.
They were protesting that when electricity was restored to an adjacent area, why were they not getting it, according to the police.
The demonstration soon turned out ugly when Metiabruz MLA Abdul Khaleque Molla intervened and tried to persuade them to stop their protest, a Kolkata Police officer said.
It was then when a brick thrown by the protesters hit him on his head. Some of his aides were also injured, the officer said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed Pande’s statement saying “criticism by a TMC minister only proves the opposition charge of the state government’s failure in dealing with the crisis”.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday said the state government should have called the Army much earlier for restoration work in the metropolis and its surrounding areas in the wake of the damage caused by cyclone ‘Amphan’.
The state government requested Army support on May 23, three days after the cyclone struck.
“The Army should have been called much earlier. Maybe, it was not done due to ego problems,” Ghosh told reporters here.
Ghosh also alleged that he was stopped twice while visiting the cyclone-affected people to provide aid.