Mamata meets PM Modi at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, seeks Rs 20K-crore relief package, skips review meet

Mamata meets PM Modi at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, seeks Rs 20K-crore relief package, skips review meet

Biswabrata Goswami

MIDNAPORE, 28 MAY: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday skipped the slated review meet with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kalaikunda Air Force station in West Midnapore, and instead met him in a separate time schedule during the review meet. She submitted a detailed report on the damages caused by cyclone ‘Yaas’ in the state before the PM.

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Though, the meeting between the two leaders lasted for about a few minutes, Miss Banerjee told PM Modi that West Bengal is estimated to have suffered a loss of Rs 20,000 crore due to Cyclone Yaas.

She also submitted a proposal of two packages of Rs 10 thousand crore each for the development of cyclone affected Digha and Sundarbans.

“We have sought a package of Rs 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

Accompanied by the chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, Miss Banerjee reached Kalaikunda after conducting an aerial survey of cyclone-hit areas in North 24 Parganas district.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi flew down to Odisha to review the post-cyclone situation, and then made his way to West Bengal, where the storm wreaked havoc in the coastal districts.

The Prime Minister landed at Kalaikunda after conducting an aerial survey in Odisha and West Bengal. “When the PM arrived to attend the review meeting, there was no one from the West Bengal government. Both chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the chief secretary of West Bengal were present in the same premises and yet they did not come to receive the PM,” a source said.

A government official said the Prime Minister, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and union ministers patiently waited for half an hour for West Bengal representatives to turn up. Suddenly, Mamata Banerjee stormed in and handed over a bunch of papers on the cyclone impact to the PM. She talked with him for barely a few minutes and left the meeting hall as she has other visits lined up.

According to sources, Mamata Banerjee did not attend the meeting due to the invitation of BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari.

It has also been learned from sources that on behalf of the West Bengal Chief Minister’s office, a letter was written to the Prime Minister’s Office asking why MLAs and MPs are being included in this meeting.

Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for immediate relief activities. Rs 500 crore would be immediately given to Odisha. Another Rs 500 crore announced for West Bengal and Jharkhand, which will be released on the basis of the damage.

An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured was also announced, the PMO said.

“Centre will deploy an Inter-Ministerial Team to visit the states to assess the extent of damage, based on which further assistance will be given. PM assured Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand that the Centre would closely work with the state governments at this difficult time,” a PMO statement said.

In the meeting, PM Modi asked the officials to ensure restoration in the affected areas at the earliest to bring back normalcy.

Meanwhile, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar slammed Mamata Banerjee for skipping review meet with PM Modi. In a tweet, he said, “It would have served interests of state and its people for CM and officials @MamataOfficial to attend Review Meet by PM. Confrontational stance ill serves interests of State or democracy. Non participation by CM and officials not in sync with constitutionalism or rule of law.”

Tags: #MamtaBanerjee#NarendraModi#CycloneYaas #OdishaFightsYaas

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