Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sabyasachi Dutta has accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of not letting the opposition help people after he was stopped by the police from distributing food during the Covid-19 lockdown, saying chief minister Mamata Banerjee was doing the same.
Dutta, a former mayor of Salt Lake, alleged that officers in the administration did not take his calls or respond to his messages when he tried to inform them about his plans.
He said the police stopped him on Tuesday saying it might lead to crowding in violation of the 21-day lockdown orders.
“I was only inspired by the chief minister,” Dutta said after he was stopped by police from distributing rice, pulses, etc among poor people.
Dutta left the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP last year.
BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu also alleged he was not allowed to distribute food in the Hare Street police station area on Tuesday and the matter was resolved only after a long argument.
Interestingly, the administration did not stop the BJP’s West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh or the party’s Asansol Lok Sabha member and Union minister Babul Supriyo from distributing relief material on Monday and Tuesday.
No police officer commented on these incidents.
“So, we have to conclude that it is alright when the chief minister distributes relief material but when the BJP does the same it is a violation of lockdown orders. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Dilip Ghosh said.
“We have received reports that people are not getting relief material in many districts. Hoarding of essential items has led to price rise and the state government is doing nothing,” Ghosh added.
Urban development minister and Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim said the opposition leaders were breaking the rules of the lockdown announced to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.
“Opposition leaders should not put people at risk by starting a political competition. This is not the time for it. By drawing crowds while distributing relief materials they are only violating the lockdown announced by the Prime Minister,” Firhad Hakim said.