A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received in Bengal by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as he arrived to review the state’s cyclone response, the political rivalry between their parties is back in the spotlight.
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh was stopped by police today as he tried to travel to areas in South 24 Parganas that were affected by Cyclone Amphan.
Ghosh alleged that police blocked his convoy — which was travelling to Baruipur — on the outskirts of Kolkata because he didn’t have necessary passes for travel during the ongoing lockdown.
“Police have stopped me saying that I don’t have lockdown pass to travel. I wanted to visit the affected areas in South 24 Parganas,” Dilip Ghosh told India Today TV.
Hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee administration, the BJP leader said the chief minister and her ministers were able to “travel freely everywhere, but BJP leaders cannot”.
He accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the ruling party, of wanting to stop the BJP in any way possible.
“They are scared of us. That’s why we are being stopped everywhere. When I was trying to reach out to the cyclone victims, police [was] stopping me…people don’t have food, water and electricity. Police and TMC goons as are beating our men,” he said.
“It is the chief minister who has begun politicising this, not us,” he said. “If this is the politics they want, then we shall do it as well.”
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced advance relief worth Rs 1,000 crore for West Bengal after conducting a joint aerial review with Mamata Banerjee.
His emergency visit came just a day after Banerjee appealed to him to personally assess the ground situation as Bengal needed central assistance.