Opp alleges large scale irregularities in financial relief to Amphan victims

Kolkata, June 24 (PTI) At an all-party meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, opposition parties alleged large scale irregularities in the distribution of financial relief to those affected in Cyclone Amphan in the state.

They demanded that the government show transparency and come out with the full list of those affected in the calamity and the beneficiaries.

All major opposition parties like the the CPI(M), Congress, BJP, RSP, All India Forward Bloc, CPI, SUCI (Communist) were present at the meeting which discussed the post-Amphan and COVID-19 situations in the state.

Left Front legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty after the all party meeting said the chief minister had to acknowledge the opposition's allegation that many of the cyclone-affected people were not getting financial relief.

He urged the government to ask state officials to accept fresh applications and put up a list of the beneficiaries.

'The chief minister and the ruling party leaders had to admit there were irregularities in the distribution of relief among the cyclone-affected in the Sunderbans,' he said.

'We are seeing it as a humanitarian crisis and not through the prism of party colours. We want transparency and the CM had to admit everything was not right,' Chakraborty told reporters after the meeting.

He urged the affected people to submit their documents to the block development officer as soon as possible and if necessary file a complaint with the local police. 'If the government fails to respond as promised we will draw their attention. It is not the time to do politics,' Chakraborty said BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said, 'We have given our suggestions to the government.' While the CPI(M) reiterated the demand to the Centre for declaring Cyclone Amphan a national disaster, Ghosh said 'there is nothing like national disaster. What is more important is to help the actual affected people.' Ghosh said the BJP has demanded that the full list of the cyclone-affected people be displayed at the BDO's office and 'we will wait to see how the decision at today's all party meeting is implemented.' 'There is nothing to be happy or unhappy over today's meeting,' he added.

About the state government's decision to extend the lockdown till July 31, CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra said, 'It cannot be decided at an all-party meeting. It can be decided by experts - by WHO, by ICMR.' He said the party had reservations about the way the lockdown had been enforced. It was imposed in just four hours' without giving the common man to prepare for it, Mishra said.

He also sought an increase in the number of COVID-19 tests in the state.

Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said the government should increase the number of testing laboratories and take adequate steps to check the spiralling graph of COVID-19 cases and deaths in West Bengal.

'The COVID-19 situation is alarming. We have asked the state government to take immediate appropriate measures to control the situation,' he added. PTI SUS SCH KK KK 06242228 ANB ANB