KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi instead of talking to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to enquire about the ground situation in the wake of cyclone Fani, and alleged Modi doesn't respect the federal structure of the country.
"This is an attack on a federal structure and a deviation from the Constitution. By calling the Governor he has acted as leader of BJP and not as a Prime Minister. How can he deny the mandate of our people? Mamata Banerjee is the elected chief minister of Bengal. This is unfortunate." TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
"We have no problem that PM called the governor to enquire about the ground level situation. But only Chief Minister and state government officials can give him the real picture at the ground level", said another senior TMC leader.
It only reflects that the Prime Minister doesn't have any respect for the federal structure of this country. In a federal structure the PM should call the CM to enquire about the ground level situation. But just to play politics over this issue he decided not to call CM, he said.
As West Bengal braced for cyclone Fani's landfall, prime minister spoke to the governor of the state, Keshari Nath Tripathi, on Saturday to know about situation prevailing on the ground in the state.
During his conversation with Tripathi, the prime minister reiterated the Centre's readiness to provide all help needed to cope with the extremely severe cyclonic storm.
"Also conveyed my solidarity with the people of Bengal in the wake of Cyclone Fani," Modi said in a tweet. BJP and the TMC are locked in an intense political battle in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and the current round of bickering could be seen as a part of this.
Fani barrelled through Odisha on Friday, unleashing copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, blowing away thatched houses and swamping towns and villages, officials said.
Several districts of West Bengal, including East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Pargana, besides Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram, Kolkata and the Sundarbans are likely to be hit by the storm that would then move towards Bangladesh and taper off.