Trinamool Congress Cautions Minister for Comments against Colleague over Cyclone Amphan Handling

Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc on Kolkata and large parts of southern Bengal, uprooting thousands of trees.

Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc on Kolkata and large parts of southern Bengal, uprooting thousands of trees.

Infighting within the ruling TMC over response to the cyclone was out in the open after Minister Sadhan Pande hit out at KMC chief Firhad Hakim for failing to effectively deal with the crisis.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:05 PM IST

The Trinamool Congress leadership has cautioned senior party leader and minister Sadhan Pande and asked him not to publicly express views against the party, days after he blamed the TMC-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for “lack of planning” in dealing with cyclone Amphan.

The infighting within the ruling TMC over response to the rampaging cyclone was out in the open on Tuesday after Pande hit out at KMC for failing to effectively deal with the crisis.

According to the TMC sources on Thursday, Pande’s comments didn’t go down well with the party top brass, which decided to caution him for the time being.

“He has been cautioned and told not to express his views publicly. If he has something to say, he can say it within the party. Our state government is battling dual crisis of COVID and cyclone Amphan; this is not the right time to fight among ourselves,” a senior TMC leader said.

Pande was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, Pande’s bete-noire in the party- TMC MLA Paresh Pal- said he would organise a protest march against him (Pande) once the lockdown is over.

The infighting within the Trinamool Congress has surfaced amid sporadic protests over demands for restoration of power and water supply in several cyclone-hit parts of West Bengal. Cyclone Amphan has claimed 86 lives in the state so far.

While talking to reporters earlier this week, state Consumer Affairs Minister Pande said the crisis could have been handled in a much better way.

“Had there been proper planning, the cyclone crisis could have been averted in a much better way. There was no proper planning. None of us were consulted on how this crisis could be dealt with in a much better ways,” Pande said.

“Anybody who fails to perform should resign from his post. The chairman of KMC didn’t call any meeting of the MLAs of the city. Firhad Hakim should have consulted his predecessor Sovan Chatterjee,” he said.

Hakim, a senior TMC leader and chairman of Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administrators, hit back immediately by saying that instead of criticising the KMC, Pande should have come forward with an alternative plan.

“Why is he criticising now? What was he doing since last week? He should have come to KMC with an alternative plan. All of our officials and staff are busy in restoration work because we believe it is easier to criticise than to work,” he said. Hakim was appointed as the chairman of the board of administrators on May 7.






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