June 11, 2009

All-party meet on ‘AILA’ successful

Kolkata, Monday, Jun 07, 2009: Even though the Trinamool Congress did not attend the all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to discuss how to tackle the situation in the cyclone-affected areas, Bhattacharjee called it a successful meet and has convened another on June 14.

“Had they joined, it would have been much better. But what do I do if they do not come. We cannot sit idle. The Congress, which is running the Central government, was there. I call it a successful meeting,” Bhattacharjee said after the meeting on Sunday.

The all-party meeting on June 14 has been called at the behest of Congress, which said since they were informed about today’s meet only two days ago, they could not prepare a detailed note. In the meeting, a resolution was passed exhorting the state and the Central governments to work together on short-term and long-term plans to mitigate the suffering of people.

The Congress was represented by party working president Subrata Mukherjee and Congress Legislature Party Leader Manas Bhunia was also present. Those who boycotted the meeting included the Trinamool, the SUCI, the Jharkhand Party and the GNLF.

The chief minister admitted lacunae in distribution of relief material. “The Congress said that relief material is not distributed evenly and has not reached remote places. We agree with them and will ask officials to act accordingly. The Congress also said there should be no politics in distribution of relief material and I will ensure that,” Bhattacharjee said.

Asked whether he was ready to rope in ministers from the state Cabinet for the relief operations, the CM said: “We will take the help of all ministers, if required.” The Congress said it was not happy with the way and pace relief was being distributed. “We have asked the chief minister to undertake the relief work with more transparency and efficiency,” Bhuina said.

He also said he would take up the issue of more relief for victims with the Centre and the Congress leadership.

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