PATHARPRATIMA: Senior Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday claimed that the Disaster Management Act should be applied against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for “endangering human lives” by organising big poll rallies during Covid spike in West Bengal.
He said that the Act should also be used against the Election Commission for conducting an eight-phase assembly poll in the state amid the pandemic and all political parties, including his own party, that campaigned during that period.
The TMC MP, who was visiting cyclone Yaas affected areas here in South 24 Parganas district, made the statement while referring to the Centre’s show-cause notice to former West Bengal’s chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay for allegedly violating the Disaster Management Act by not attending a meeting called by the PM.
“If Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who was leading several task forces related to COVID management and rehabilitation for the cyclone-affected people, was asked to show cause under Disaster Management Act, shouldn’t the law be applied to the PM and the union home minister for organising big rallies during the COVID spike and endangering human lives?” he said.
“Remember, the PM said at a poll meeting that he was so happy to see the turnout. He said this when there was a spike in Covid-19 cases,” Banerjee said.
The issuance of the notice to Bandyopadhyay, who retired on May 31 as chief secretary and then appointed as the chief adviser to the chief minister, showed “vindictive attitude towards West Bengal by the BJP,” the president of the TMC youth wing claimed.
“Why an upright bureaucrat, who was fighting the COVID-19 battle, should be harassed in this way?” he asked.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew distributed relief materials among the cyclone-hit people of Patharpratima and reviewed the post-cyclone situation in the area.
About damages of embankments in Sundarbans during cyclones, the MP said, “There has to be a permanent solution to the problem which happens after every such natural calamity.”
If there is any lapse in constructing or maintenance of embankments, those responsible for it should be sternly dealt with, Banerjee added.