Cyclone Fani: Naveen Patnaik earns praise from PM Modi, Mamata throws a spanner

FE Online
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PM Modi praises Naveen Patnaik: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday undertook an aerial survey of the area ravaged by Cyclone Fani in Odisha. State CM Naveen Patnaik, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other leaders and officials accompanied PM Modi during the survey of worst-hit Puri district and other areas. Odisha has revised the death toll due to Cyclone Fani, which stormed into the coastal areas last Friday, to 38. The cyclone has left a trail of destruction across the state with many areas grappling for power cut and shortage of drinking water.

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Talking to reporters at Bhubaneswar airport after he took stock of the situation, PM Modi heaped praise on Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik for his government’s handling of the natural calamity. PM Modi lauded Patnaik for his advance planning in the wake of the cyclone which saw millions of people being shifted to safer places. “Naveen babu ne acha plan kiya (Naveen babu planned it all very well),” Modi said.

“Communication was very good between state and Central government. I was also monitoring. The way people of Odisha complied with every instruction of government is praiseworthy,” he added.

 

PM Modi said the Centre has already announced an advance relief of Rs 381 crore and a further Rs 1000 crore will be released soon.

Mamata ignores Modi’s phonecall

While Naveen Patnaik earned PM Modi’s praise, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee reportedly ignored calls from the PM office to discuss the impact of Cyclone Fani on the state. A top government official said that PM Modi’s office tried to connect with Mamata Banerjee on Saturday but the calls were not returned. PM Modi then had a telephonic conversation with Bengal Governor Keshari Nath.

“Two attempts were made by the prime minister’s staff to connect Modi with Banerjee over phone. On both the occasions they were told that the call would be returned. On one occasion they were told that the CM is on tour,” PTI quoted an official, as saying.

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The Trinamool Congress had earlier criticised PM Modi for not consulting Mamata over the ground situation in West Bengal after Cyclone Fani.

PM Modi and Mamata Banerjee have been engaged in a bitter war of words amid the campaigning for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The verbal spat between the two leaders took an ugly turn last month when Mamata responded to Modi’s revelation during a ‘non-political’ interview with actor Akshay Kumar that the Bengal CM sends him personally-selected kurtas, sweets every year.

Modi’s statement invited an angry reaction from Mamata Banerjee who said that she will now send rasgulla made of mud and pebbles which will break the PM’s teeth.

“PM Modi didn t come to Bengal earlier but now he needs votes from Bengal. We will give him rasgulla from Bengal. We will make sweets from the soil and put pebbles in it like cashew nuts and raisins are used in laddoos, that will break his teeth,” Mamata had said during a rally.