On Tuesday, the Trinamool Congress(TMC) has reportedly suspended 18 panchayat members belonging to the party in Nandigram in East Midnapore district for their involvement in corruption in the disbursement of cyclone Amphan relief funds. At the same time, about 200 TMC workers and leaders were issued a show-cause notice.
Following the havoc wrought in the State by Cyclone Amphan on May 20, the West Bengal government had announced a relief package of ₹6,800 crores. The package had provision for compensating families, whose houses were destroyed in the natural disaster, with ₹20,000. However, several cases of blatant misappropriation of relief funds have come to light. As per the reports, 50 TMC workers who had fraudulently obtained the compensation amount of ₹20,000 had returned the money.
Sisir Adhikari from TMC informed that a survey would be conducted in 25 blocks in the East Midnapore district and appropriate action against miscreants who had siphoned off the compensation amount illegally will be ensured. Similarly, General Secretary of the party, Partha Chatterjee stated that TMC members found guilty of fraudulently benefitting their family and relatives would be strictly punished.
Mamata Banerjee assures of ‘rectifying lapses’
On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the State government was rectifying lapses that occurred during the distribution of relief funds. She conceded that the oversight on the administration happened while fast-tracking the payments. “We are rectifying the anomalies. Every affected family will receive the monetary relief,” Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying.
Reminiscing old political wounds of Nandigram violence and how the current political dispensation benefitted from the same, CPIM leader Mohammed Salim said that the people are now witnessing loot of public money by the TMC. “After she came to power, Banerjee promised to transform Nandigram with new industries. It never happened and local people had to look for jobs in other states,” he was quoted as saying.
BJP launches website for people to lodge complaints
Reportedly, Block Development Officers (BDOs) have been receiving applications from aggrieved people who are yet to receive relief funds from the government. As per the report, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit of the State, led by Dilip Ghosh, had launched a website on Sunday to help people lodge their complaints over non-payment of the compensation amount.
TMC gram Pradhan suspended
Recently, Narendranath Singh, who served as a five-time pradhan of Chanditala II block in Hoogly was reportedly expelled from the Trinamool Congress on charges of corruption in the distribution of relief funds. As per the Telegraph report, Singh had submitted a list of 166 people who were to receive the assured sum of ₹20,000. “It is shocking to see that he used his own mobile number for 119 beneficiaries that included his wife. None of those had suffered any damage in Amphan. Local party workers had cautioned him, but he refused to listen. It was only after MP Kalyan Banerjee intervened that the top leadership came to know of this,” a Trinamool leader was quoted as saying. A probe was also conducted into the matter and the allegations of financial irregularities were found to be true.