West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was stopped by the police today from visiting the cyclone-hit areas of South 24 Parganas district, triggering an argument between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Mr Ghosh was on his way to Canning and Basanti, two of the many areas of the district affected by cyclone Amphan, to distribute relief materials.
His car was stopped by the police at Dhalai bridge near Garia area of the district.
“I don’t know why I have been stopped from visiting the cyclone-affected areas. The TMC leaders are visiting these places and distributing relief materials. The police is not stopping them. The rule only changes for the BJP leaders,” Mr Ghosh said.
His comment came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an advance interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the cyclone-hit state and a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Mr Ghosh threatened to organise a sit-in protest, if he was not allowed to go to the affected areas.
“If the state government wants to pursue relief politics, they should get ready for a befitting reply from our workers,” he said.
According to news agency Press Trust of India, BJP workers accompanying Mr Ghosh allegedly pushed the men in uniform to make way for the vehicle of the party’s state president.
When news agency PTI contacted the police, they declined to comment about it.
Kolkata Mayor and state minister Firhad Hakim wondered why the state BJP was keen on doing politics over the distribution of relief materials.
Mr Ghosh had on Friday demanded that the assistance should be credited directly to the bank accounts of the people affected by cyclone Amphan, to avoid siphoning of money.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)