BJP heavyweights nowhere to be seen when calamities strike Bengal: Abhishek Banerjee

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Baharampur (WB), Jun 9 (PTI) Taking a swipe at BJP heavyweights from Delhi who had visited homes of the poor in West Bengal during the assembly polls, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday said they are conspicuous by their absence when calamities strike the state.

Banerjee made the remark after visiting the homes of those who were killed in lightning strikes on Monday.

He also said that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced financial help for the family of the deceased, the Trinamool Congress government already extended monetary aid to the next of kin of the deceased.

'Those who had eaten lunch on banana leaves sitting at homes of the poor and clicked photographs during the polls, are nowhere to be seen now,' Banerjee said, apparently referring to the likes of Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief J P Nadda.

'But, our leader Mamata Banerjee and her soldiers always rush to the aid of people in every situation,' the former chief of the party's youth wing asserted.

At least 27 people were killed in lightning strikes in three districts of south Bengal on Monday.

Banerjee also trashed BJP's claim that he decided to meet the family members of the deceased in Murshidabad and Hooghly only after the PM offered condolences and declared financial help.

'We are always beside our people during times of distress... But, where is the BJP now?' he said.

Banerjee, the nephew of the chief minister, said she would into the demands of providing jobs to the family members of those who were killed in the natural event.

On criticism of the BJP about the performance of the TMC government on various fronts since returning to power for the third term, Banerjee said 'I ask them to first tackle their infighting (in the West Bengal unit). They should put their own house in order first.' He also raked up the insider-outsider issue that had made headlines in the run-up to the assembly elections and while the exercise was underway.

''Bahiragato ase bahiragato jay bangla nijer meyeke chay' (outsiders come and go, but Bengal only wants its daughter at the helm),' the newly appointed TMC national general secretary added. PTI SUS RBT RBT

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