KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that 27 people have died of dengue this year in West Bengal, as she hit out at the opposition "for politicising" the issue.
Banerjee, while speaking during a discussion on the matter in the Assembly, said around 44,000 people are affected by the vector-borne disease in the state.
"We don't want any deaths. We have been able to save thousands of people who were affected by the vector-borne disease. But the opposition parties of the state instead of raising awareness are only interested in politicising the matter," she said.
"In the health sector, Bengal is a model for the entire country. But the opposition parties are only interested in maligning the state to serve their own political interests," Banerjee added.
She said around 85 people died of dengue in 2018 and the state government has been able to bring down the number of deaths this year.
"Around 3,000 doctors, 4,000 nurses and 51,000 government employees are working day and night to tackle the menace of dengue in the state. Around Rs 475 crore has been allotted to tackle dengue," she said.
Comparing the number of deaths that occurred during the erstwhile Left Front government in Bengal and in other Congress and BJP-ruled states due to malaria, swine flu and dengue, Banerjee lauded the efforts of the TMC government for "better handling of the menace".
Asserting that she was not taking the dengue outbreak lightly by citing figures of previous years, she said even if one person dies due to the vector-borne disease, it is sad and efforts should be made to prevent that.
"Unless and until we ourselves are aware, the problem can't be solved. The opposition is behaving in such a way that as if we produce these dengue larvae," she said.
"If we were really able to produce these mosquitoes we would have asked them to bite CPI(M), Congress and BJP, so that they can understand the pain before making baseless allegations against the government," Banerjee said.
Criticising the CPI(M) and the Congress for walking out of the House as their demand for discussion be held on the issue under Rule 185 was allowed, Banerjee said if the opposition was not willing to hear the government then what was the need for discussion.
Later while talking to reporters, Congress chief whip Manoj Chakraborty said the TMC government wants opposition leaders to get infected by dengue so that they can run a opposition-free House.