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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Didi, nephew vow succour for storm-hit: Government to pay Rs 1.2 lakh to 500 families

Sources said the administration has already paid 20,000 rupees to families who have lost their homes

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 13.04.24, 07:07 AM
Abhishek Banerjee meets the storm-affected families at the public meeting in Mainaguri on Friday.

Abhishek Banerjee meets the storm-affected families at the public meeting in Mainaguri on Friday. Biplab Basak

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee on Friday asserted that the state administration would pay financial assistance of Rs 1.20 lakh to 500-odd families who lost their homes in the storm that had affected different areas in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar.

“We had sought permission from the Election Commission of India (ECI) so that the administration can help the homeless people. No permission reached the administration. Later, it was found that there are provisions to extend such assistance to people in case of disaster and thus, the state will pay the first installment to them,” said Mamata, while speaking at a public meeting in Dinhata of Cooch Behar.

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Sources said the administration has already paid 20,000 rupees to families who have lost their homes. Others, whose houses got partially damaged, have received Rs 5,000.

Later in the day, Abhishek reached Barnish, the worst-affected area in Mainaguri with a group of senior party leaders who had demonstrated in Delhi and were arrested.

“The remaining 40,000 rupees of the first installments (60,000 rupees is paid in two installments) will be transferred to the bank accounts of these families soon. It is unfortunate that the ECI didn’t give permission. I would ask the families to start building their houses,” said the Trinamul MP.

Since March 31, when the natural disaster had hit the region, the rank and file of Trinamul, right from Mamata to Abhishek to prominent leaders of north Bengal, has taken the task to stand by the affected people. Mamata rushed to the affected areas from Calcutta on the same day and leaders worked in ground zero for the families who turned homeless.

BJP, on the other hand, lagged behind. Jayanta Roy, the BJP candidate, was seen at the district hospital but there was hardly any presence of BJP workers in the affected areas. Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of opposition in the Assembly, visited some villages around 13 hours after Mamata’s arrival.

Political observers pointed out that the Prime Minister visited the region twice but spoke briefly once about the disaster. Further, BJP tried to arrange a meeting among the affected families and the PM but failed due to security reasons.

“Trinamul, on the other hand, reached out to the people and today, a group of leaders led by Abhishek Banerjee held a meeting in Barnish and met the people. This will definitely have a political ramification ahead of the elections,” said an observer.

In his speech, Abhishek mentioned that the ECI, instead of granting permission, engaged police in Delhi to arrest their delegates.

“They were detained in a police station. The local MP here, however, didn’t bother to communicate with the Centre to help the distressed residents,” he said.

Trinamul leaders Arpita Ghosh, Md. Nadimul Haque, Vivek Gupta, Sudip Raha, Dola Sen and Santanu Sen also addressed the gathering.

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