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Opposition trying to derail rehabilitation process of cyclone-hit people: TMC

Senior Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee on Sunday alleged that opposition parties are attempting to derail the process of rehabilitation of cyclone Amphan affected people of West Bengal by trying to focus on the issue of corruption.

He also accused BJP leaders, who have pointed fingers at alleged factional feud of the TMC behind an attack on a councillor in North 24 Parganas district, of giving indulgence to miscreants.

“Opposition parties are talking of corruption when the compensation issue has already been taken care of,” Mr. Chattejee, who is also a senior minister, told reporters.

Leaders of the BJP, CPI(M) and the Congress have alleged that relatives and friends of ruling TMC leaders in the districts have received government money to repair houses which were not damaged by the cyclone Amphan.

The government has received around 40,000 complaints alleging irregularities in the distribution of financial relief to the cyclone-affected people and found that nearly 34,000 of them are genuine.

Steps have been taken against several panchayat functionaries and Block Development Officers (BDOs) on the charge of being involved in the irregularities.

Regarding the suspension of 200 TMC workers in Nandigram area for allegedly being involved in corrupt practices over Amphan relief, Mr. Chatterjee said there are 80,000 booths in the state, and the number of people involved in corruption is less than 1000.

“However, it will be seen that these people are handed out the appropriate punishment,” the TMC secretary general said.

The TMC will never compromise on corruption, the minister said and claimed that no other party, including the Left Front that ruled the state for 34 years, had ever done anything to curb such activities on its own.

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is fighting against the challenges of coronavirus spread and the disaster caused by cyclone Amphan, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and other opposition leaders are only dishing out statements from their homes, Mr. Chatterjee alleged.

On the attack on TMC councillor Champa Saha, who was shot at in Ichapore in North 24 Parganas district on Saturday, he said, “The administration is doing its job.”

Reacting to the BJP state presidents charge that it is a result of an internal feud of the TMC, Mr. Chatterjee advised him to take care of his own party.

Denying the BJP leader’s allegation that law and order has broken down in the state, Mr. Chatterjee said, “If there is no rule of law in our state, what is happening in Uttar Pradesh?”

At least eight policemen were killed in BJP-ruled UP on Friday night in an attack by a gangster.

He said that the TMC is holding a week-long protest programme against the rise in fuel prices, alleged attempts to shift Coal India Limited’s headquarters from Kolkata, the Centres move to privatise coal mines and handing over of trains to private parties.

Mr. Chatterjee said that on July 21, a day the TMC commemorates as ‘Martyrs’ Day’ every year, party supremo Mamata Banerjee will address a virtual meeting.

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