Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Friday criticised Mamata Banerjee after the West Bengal chief minister gave a miss to a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the impact of Cyclone Yaas, which hit her state and the neighbouring Odisha earlier this week. Nadda said “Mamata ji should also set aside her ego” and pointed out that the Prime Minister has been in touch with chief ministers of states, irrespective of party affiliations, to help the people impacted by Yaas, which killed at least five people and left a trail of destruction in Odisha, Bengal and Jharkhand.
“When Hon PM Shri @narendramodi stands strong with the citizens of West Bengal in wake of cyclone Yaas, Mamata ji should also set aside her ego for the welfare of people. Her absence from the PM’s meeting is murder of constitutional ethos & the culture of cooperative federalism,” Nadda said in a post on Twitter.
“PM @narendramodi ji holds the principle of Cooperative federalism very sacred & has been actively working with all CMs irrespective of party to give relief to the people. Unsurprisingly @MamataOfficial’s tactics & petty politics has once again came to haunt the people of Bengal,” he also tweeted.
News agency ANI reported citing people familiar with the developments that the West Bengal chief minister and the state’s chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay were late to the meeting by almost half an hour. ANI cited the people mentioned above that she handed over the reports related to the impact of Cyclone Yaas and left saying that she has other meetings lined up.
On her part, Mamata Banerjee said she could not attend the review meeting with Prime Minister Modi as she was scheduled to meet with officials in another area of the state. “The Prime Minister called a meeting. We did not know that I had a meeting scheduled in Digha. I handed him the report asking for ₹20,000 crore for Digha development and ₹10,000 crore for Sundarban development. I told him that state government officials had a meeting with me so I took his permission and left,” Mamata Banerjee said, according to news agency ANI.
“After having review meetings in Hingalganj & Sagar, I met the Hon’ble PM in Kalaikunda & apprised him regarding the post-cyclone situation in WB. The disaster report has been handed over for his perusal. I’ve proceeded now to review the relief & restoration work at Digha,” Mamata also tweeted.
Also read | ‘Took his permission’: Mamata on skipping Yaas review meeting with PM Modi
Mamata Banerjee said she submitted a report to PM Modi on the damages caused by Cyclone Yaas in the state and sought a ₹20,000-crore package for redevelopment of the worst-affected areas. “We have sought a package of ₹10,000 crore each for the redevelopment of Digha and the Sunderbans… It could well be that we might not get anything,” she said following an administrative meeting held in the tourist town of Digha.
Also watch | Cyclone Yaas: PM Modi reviews damages of storm-hit areas in Odisha
Modi also flew down to Odisha to review the post-cyclone situation before going to West Bengal, where the storm wreaked havoc in the coastal districts. A release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said PM Modi announced a financial assistance of ₹1,000 crore for immediate relief activities. “ ₹500 crore would be immediately given to Odisha. Another ₹500 crore has been announced for West Bengal and Jharkhand, which will be released on the basis of the damage. The Union Government will deploy an inter-ministerial team to visit the states to assess the extent of damage, based on which further assistance will be given,” the statement said.
Also read | Cyclone Yaas: PM Modi announces ₹500 cr package for Odisha
The PM also announced ₹200,000 as ex-gratia for those who lost a family member and ₹50,000 for those seriously injured in the cyclone, the release said.
Cyclone ‘Yaas’ rampaged through parts of India’s eastern coast on Wednesday, forcing millions of people to be evacuated to safe shelters in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Heavy rainfall was reported at several places under the impact of the cyclone in all the three states on Thursday. More rains are expected to hit these states.