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Will ensure nobody goes hungry

Will ensure nobody goes hungry

Kolkata: Expressing her annoyance over the act of some political parties attempting to hamper the smooth distribution of foodgrains through the public distribution system, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday stated that the state government will not allow anyone to mint money taking advantage of the present crisis.

This comes when the Chief Minister has ensured free-of-cost distribution of foodgrains for six months through fair price shops for 7.85 crore people in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure that nobody suffers from hunger.

Without naming BJP, Banerjee said: "It has come to our notice that workers of one or two political parties are visiting fair price shops and spreading canards. At the same time, they are urging those owners to give them rice so that they can distribute the same among people in their locality. It will not be tolerated."

"The state government is taking all steps to extend support to the masses. So, political parties should not cause any disturbance to the public distribution system. They must buy it from the market if they want to distribute anything instead of putting pressure on the fair price shop dealers," Banerjee said, adding that the state government does not want anyone to suffer from hunger resulting from a scarcity of food and at the same time one should also utilise this crisis period to make money.

"Our political party has also distributed rice among people, but it was not taken from fair price shops. We had bought it from the market and extended our support," Banerjee said. She announced that the state government will also distribute 1 kg pulses to each.

A delegation of leaders from the Left parties, including Left Front Chairman Biman Bose and CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra had a discussion with the Chief Minister at Nabanna over the present COVID-19 situation.

The Chief Minister on Tuesday also held a video conference from Nabanna with Nobel laureate Dr Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee who is at present in the US and a key member of the state government's Global Advisory Board for COVID Response Policy. She spoke about a series of steps to help the state government in checking the spread of COVID-19.

This comes when the death toll in the state has gone up to five while the Chief Minister said eight new COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded in Bengal in the past 24 hours taking its total number to 69. Banerjee said: "Four of the eight new cases are from the same family and 60 of the total 69 positive cases are from nine families who got infected to the disease initially."

While speaking about the migrant labourers from Bengal, Banerjee said: "A large number of them are now stuck at different parts of the country. They will also be quarantined for 14 days when they return after withdrawal of the lockdown."

The state government has also learnt that a section of the migrant labourers in some states are facing trouble. Banerjee has directed the Chief Secretary to take up the matter with the Centre at the earliest.

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