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Post-storm relief distribution in Jalpaiguri becomes political punching bag for TMC, BJP

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NewsDrum Desk
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Kolkata, Apr 2 (PTI) The Jalpaiguri storm that claimed five lives has triggered a political slugfest in West Bengal with the BJP accusing TMC leaders of profiteering from relief materials, igniting a verbal confrontation between the parties.

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At least five people died and over 200 were rendered homeless after a sudden storm and heavy rain wreaked havoc in Jalpaiguri town and its surrounding areas on Sunday.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee rushed to the northern district on Sunday night. She visited the hospital where the injured were undergoing treatment and spoke to the family members of the deceased.

Senior BJP leader and MP Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday claimed that "TMC leaders are happy that the storm has struck Jalpaiguri before the elections, as they can profit from the distribution of relief materials." "We have seen this earlier during Cyclone Amphan and Hudhud, how local TMC leaders have made crores of rupees from relief materials distributed by the state government. This time too, they will make money out of it," he said.

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Ghosh's remarks drew sharp reactions from the TMC, which alleged that the BJP was indulging in vulture politics ahead of general elections.

"The BJP is indulging in vulture politics using the deaths of people in a storm in Jalpaiguri. We condemn such remarks by Dilip Ghosh," TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

Earlier on Monday, the BJP leadership had mocked Mamata Banerjee for rushing to Jalpaiguri for "photo ops ahead of general elections." "She had rushed there on chartered flights as she didn't want to miss the photo opportunity. We do not have chartered flights like the Chief Minister." "This is because the TMC has received a lot of money through electoral bonds," leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari had said.

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the number of injuries would have been much lower had the BJP government not stopped funds under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

"Had the BJP-led central government released the funds for Awas Yojana to Bengal, the common people of this area, women, and children would not have been injured severely. Most of them were injured as they lived in thatched-roof houses," he had said. PTI PNT MNB

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