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In a First, Mamata Forms Amphan Panel With Members of All Parties to Monitor Relief Distribution

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The committee members have been empowered to take action against any malpractice by ration dealers or panchayat members during distribution of relief to cyclone-hit people.

Sujit Nath
  • News18.com Kolkata
  • Last Updated: June 24, 2020, 8:29 PM IST
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Amid allegations of corruption and favouritism in distribution of ration and relief materials in Cyclone Amphan-affected areas, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee formed a committee comprising leaders from all political parties.

The decision to set up the ‘Amphan Committee’ was taken during an all-party meeting held in the state secretariat Nabanna on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by CPI(M)’s Suryakanta Mishra, Sujan Chakraborty and state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.

This is for the first time since the Trinamool Congress came to power in the state in 2011 that such a committee has been formed.

Leaders of opposition parties present at the meeting, which was initially called to discuss the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, was welcomed chief minister’s decision.

The new committee will closely monitor the distribution of relief material people hit by the cyclone that ravaged large parts of the state’s coastal belt with over 80 deaths. The committee members have been empowered to take action against any malpractice by ration dealers or panchayat members.

Banerjee said, “I happy to have set up this committee. I would like to clarify that we are here to serve the people and I will not tolerate if anyone indulged in politics while distributing ration and relief material. I don’t want to hear that needy and eligible persons are not getting ration. I have already taken action against some and in future too, we will not hesitate to take stern action against those indulged in malpractice.”

“This is not the time for doing politics. Let’s work together. We are also planning to prepare a masterplan for the Sundarbans,” she added.

The chief minister also requested people not to take law into their hands by agitating and ransacking government offices over relief supply issues.

“If you have any complaint please meet the BDOs. They will resolve your issues. I have asked all the BDOs to put up a list of needy and eligible people who were the worst hit by the cyclone,” Mamata said.

Ghosh said, “I welcome this all-party meeting. We are ready to cooperate with the government when it comes to standing beside the people in this crisis situation.”

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