'Resorting to lies': Suvendu Adhikari hits out at Mamata over meeting row
Soon after Mamata Banerjee accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “vendetta politics”, opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari on Saturday hit out the West Bengal chief minister as the row over the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review Cyclone Yaas’ impact continued.
“Yesterday after the aerial survey in West Bengal there was a review meeting in East Midnapore but CM Mamata Banerjee and the administration made the PM wait for 30 minutes. It was breach of constitutional integrity and was shameful,” Suvendu Adhikari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“Today in a presser the CM said she didn't attend the meeting due to the presence of opposition leaders. She is resorting to lies to satisfy her ego as she thinks of herself as not just West Bengal CM but entire the country’s,” Suvendu Adhikari added.
Suvendu, a former Trinamool Congress leader, also said that he invited to Friday’s review meeting as he is the leader of opposition in Bengal assembly and MLA of cyclone-hit Nandigram area.
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The BJP legislator was referring to Mamata’s comments during her press conference in Kolkata as she talked about the criticism she faced from Union ministers and BJP leaders for skipping the review meeting with PM Modi on the devastation caused by Cyclone Yass. “It was supposed to be held between the PM and the CM. Why were BJP leaders called to the session?" she asked.
She also claimed that opposition leaders were not invited to similar review meetings held in Gujarat and Odisha, the two states that also impacted by Cyclone Yaas over the past few days.
The Bengal chief minister also accused the Centre of pursuing "vendetta politics" and appealed it to withdraw its order recalling Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay. "Because you (PM Modi and Union home minister Shah) cannot digest the BJP's defeat, you have started creating problems for us from Day One. What is the fault of the chief secretary? Recalling the chief secretary amid the Covid crisis goes on to show that the Centre was indulging in political vendetta," she said.
On Friday after Mamata Banerjee skipped the review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Suvendu Adhikari criticised her in a series of tweets. "Today is a dark day in India's long-standing ethos of cooperative federalism, a principle held sacred by by PM @narendramodi. CM @MamataOfficial has shown once again that she is insensitive to the sufferings of the people of West Bengal," Adhikari said.
"The way @MamataOfficial Didi behaved with PM @narendramodi reflects her dictatorial nature and lack of respect for constitutional values. Instead of working with the PM for the betterment of West Bengal, she is indulging in petty politics. Her skipping the meeting is disgusting," the BJP leader said.
He pointed out that chief ministers who belong to opposition parties have worked in coordination with the Prime Minister during times of crisis in the past. And to prove his point, he shared photos of meetings between PM Modi with leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan, Naveen Patnaik, Omar Abdullah and late J Jayalalithaa. "On previous occasions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reviewed floods, cyclone situations with different Chief Ministers who belonged to non-NDA parties. None of these Chief Ministers behaved the way Mamata Didi behaved today. There is a time for politics and a time for governance. Didi cannot comprehend that," said Adhikari.
Several Union ministers, including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, and BJP national president JP Nadda slammed Mamata for making PM Modi wait during the meeting and then leaving minutes after giving him a report on the impact of the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas. Mamata said he took the Prime Minister’s permission before leaving.