Kolkata, Nov 18 (PTI) A war of words broke out between the ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP over the death of a 25-year-old woman while being taken to a rural hospital on a charpoy by her family due to the poor condition of a road connecting her village in West Bengal's Malda district.
Raising a pitch over the issue, TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the Lok Sabha constituency and the assembly segment, under which the woman's residence and the medical establishment fall, are both represented by the BJP and accused the saffron party of doing nothing to improve basic amenities in the area.
"Who is responsible for the tragic demise of 25-year-old Mamoni Roy of Malda? Who is responsible for the abysmal condition of roads that restricted ambulance access and forced her family members to carry her to Bamangola Rural hospital on a cot?" Ghosh said on the X handle.
"Bamangola falls under Maldaha Uttar Lok Sabha constituency and Habibpur Assembly constituency which are represented by @BJP4Bengal MP @khagen_murmu and MLA @JoyelMurmuBJP. They have what they call the 'Double Engine' govt, yet they failed to ensure basic infrastructure. Why?", Ghosh asked.
Flagging the oft-repeated charges of TMC about Centre holding back the funds meant for road construction, housing and 100 days of work, he added this is "because not only are PMGSY funds being withheld by the @BJP4India-led Centre but the money that is being sent by the Government of WB for the construction and renovation of rural roads, under the Pathashree-Rastashree scheme, is being pocketed by the local BJP administration." BJP state unit president Sukanta Majumdar posted on X handle, "While @abhishekaitc takes frequent overseas trips, the people of Bengal are losing their loved ones due to the absence of the bare minimum healthcare services, this time at Malda." Majumdar took a dig at TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the post.
"It is high time that the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, WB publicly accepts the failure," he said and added a visual purportedly of the woman being taken to the healthcare facility.
West Bengal minister and senior TMC leader Shashi Panja countered Majumdar and said "The tragic incident took place in Bamangola, a village that falls under Habibpur assembly constituency and Malda Uttar Lok Sabha constituency, both ruled by BJP.
"Why haven't the roads been developed? Have BJP MLAs and MPs pocketed Pathashree-Rastashree funds allocated by the government of West Bengal?" she asked.
The incident took place when the family members of Mamuni Roy, who had been ill for a few days, were taking her on a charpoy (cot) from her village Maldanga to Modipukur rural hospital, around four-and-half-km away, in Bamangola area on Friday. Her husband Kartik Roy claimed they had to carry her to the rural hospital on the cot as no ambulance or any local vehicle was willing to risk the perilous journey due to the poor condition of the road and she died on the way.
Bamangola Block Development Officer (BDO) Raju Kundu told PTI, "The woman was ill for the last few days and was being taken to the hospital but she died on the way.
The incident echoed similar tragedies in Jalpaiguri and Kaliaganj in recent months where family members had to carry bodies of their family members after ambulances demanded hefty sums. PTI SUS RG