Expressing solidarity with the people of flood-hit Tamil Nadu, leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) questioned the central government why Bengal has been deprived of funds for flood and drought relief.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tamil Nadu and Andhra. Give aid to Tamil Nadu and Andhra. They deserve your attention. We are with them. But why is Bengal being deprived,” asked Derek O’Brien, leader of the party in Rajya Sabha.
His sentiments were echoed by Sudip Banerjee, leader of the party in Lok Sabha. “I wanted to know categorically that what is the system of allotment of money, the central team goes and comes back, but the amount that is decided is not fixed in consultation with the Chief Ministers of the states or their representatives, it is suo motu. They take the decision absolutely on their own,” he said.
West Bengal government had sought funds to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore due to the flood and Rs 4,000 crore due to drought. The Chief Minister has written several letters to the Prime Minister in this regard.
MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy wanted the Home Minister to clarify if the Rs 300 crore fund released by SDRF was an interim relief. Derek O’Brien insisted that the Centre give full attention to Tamil Nadu and Andhra but not deprive Bengal in the process.
“We are with Chennai, we are with Tamil Nadu. Chennai and Tamil Nadu is the need of the hour but do not forget Bengal. We are compelled with a heavy heart to walk out in protest about the funds which are not being given to Bengal,” Derek O’Brien said in Rajya Sabha.