Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal
PTI

As of Friday afternoon, data given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that West Bengal has recorded 6876 positive cases of the novel coronavirus. Of these, 3753 cases remain active.

But even as the battle against COVID-19 continues, the eastern state which recently relaxed lockdown norms has also had to deal with Cyclone Amphan and the destruction left in its wake. 86 people had passed away in the super cyclonic storm that whipped past the state towards the end of May. The storm felled thousands of trees, and several lakh others were displaced.

The state government had earlier estimated that storm damage added up to Rs 1 lakh crore.

On Friday West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the opposition BJP, alleging that the latter was indulging in politics. Banerjee said that Bengal was getting attacked repeatedly -- first by COVID-19 and then by the cyclone.

Speaking at a World Environment Day event, she highlighted details about re-plantation efforts that were being undertaken by the state. This included 5 crore mangrove plantation in the Sundarban area and plantation of over 50,000 trees in Kolkata. "From July 14 3.5 crore trees sapling will be planted," Mamata said. She also spoke about the destruction faced by the state and the loss of electricity that had followed.

Speaking about the steady influx of migrants travelling from various parts of the country, Mamata said that some of the workers have died on the trains. "The Centre did nothing to help the migrants," she added.

Mamata urged other political parties to refrain from politics over the current situation.

"This is not the time. I am not saying to remove Modi from Delhi now," she said.

"We should not do politics on this. On one side we are fighting all this. Alongside a political party is playing politics," she criticised.

Mamata's comments come less than a day after Kolkata BJP chief Dilip Ghosh alleged that the state governments claim that damage worth Rs 1 lakh crore had been caused by the cyclone was merely a ploy to extort money.

"This is a strategy to make money from these disasters. The CPI(M) had this disease earlier, now it has spread to the Trinamool Congress," he alleged.

The BJP leader also mocked Banerjee's demand to declare the cyclone as a national disaster, stating that there was "nothing called national disaster".

"The state government should just tell the Centre the extent of the damage caused," he had said.

Speaking on Friday Mamata added that in spite of all hurdles, "Bengal would win" and that COVID-19, Amphan and all conspiracies would "lose".

(with inputs from Prema Rajaram and PTI)

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