Mamata, Left clash over Assam refugees

July 27th, 2012 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, July 27 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday attacked the Left after it disputed her claim that the state had taken every possible step to provide relief to refugees coming from Assam.

“We were aware about the riots in Assam and the influx of refugees in Bengal for the last 10 days. But we didn’t say a word about it. Because as responsible human beings we didn’t want the violence to spread,” she said.

She said the state government had taken all measures to provide food and relief materials to the refugees.

“They are our brothers and sisters. We are ready to share our own food with them if there is a scarcity. But unlike CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist), we don’t believe in politics over dead bodies,” she said.

Banerjee accused the Left of trying to score political point over the refugees.

The Left Front countered Banerjee’s claims by saying the state government was suffering from “self-satisfaction”, which in turn had hit relief work.

“The government is suffering from complacency. They should rather focus on providing proper relief and food materials to the refuges,” said Marxist leader Surjya Kanta Mishra.

He slammed the government for dismissing the proposal that an all-party delegation visit the refugee camps near the Assam-Bengal border.

“So we have decided to send a Left Front delegation,” he said.

Referring to Banerjee’s threat to cancel licences of public vehicles if they took part in the transport strike in West Bengal July 31 called by CPI-M’s labour arm CITU, Mishra said the chief minister should rather talk to the transport unions.

“This is not the way a CM should behave. She should rather talk to the transport unions to chalk out an amicable solution. Issuing threats is not an solution. We don’t believe in shutdowns every now and then. But strike is the last resort of the working class,” said Mishra.

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