As the nation mourns the Kolkata fire tragedy, where nine emergency responders lost their lives while dousing a major fire, the embattled Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is busy making a political issue out of it as she desperately attempts to save her rapidly sinking fortunes.
On Monday evening, nine emergency responders died in a fire that broke out at a multi-storey building in Kolkata. The fire claimed the lives of four firefighters, one Railway Protection Force personnel, an assistant sub-inspector of the Kolkata Police and one unidentified person.
While the nation mourns their deaths, Mamata Banerjee who visited the site on Monday is busy politicising the matter for her political gains. Picking up a Centre vs State fight, she alleged that the fire happened due to the lapse of the Indian Railways which comes under the Central government.
The West Bengal CM said, “The property belongs to railways, it’s their responsibility but they were unable to provide map of building. I don’t want to do politics over the tragedy but no one from railways has come here.”
Contrary to Mamata’s claims, the General manager in the Eastern Railway, Manoj Joshi said, “Officers of railways were present there, efforts were being made for whatever was required. Maybe any map wasn’t made available immediately, staff members of railways were present to guide about the building.”
West Bengal’s fire and emergency services minister Sujit Basu stated that the fire broke out on the 13th floor of the New Koilaghat building on Strand Road at around 6.10 pm on Monday and was doused a few hours later.
One can understand Mamata’s desperation to corner the Central government keeping in mind the recent spate of defections that have rocked the Trinamool Congress. However, she could have avoided politicising and seeking to profit from a tragedy.
Such is the state of the TMC, that Sarala Murmu – one of its candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections, recently switched over to the BJP, thereby causing major embarrassment to Mamata and her party.
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The 38-member Malda Zilla Parishad saw a sea change as the BJP wrested control of the Zilla Parishad after 23 members changed sides. Before the defections, TMC had 27 while BJP had six seats in Malda Zilla Parishad. The exit of Sarala Murmu, thus brings another embarrassment for Mamata Banerjee and her party, turning the odds in the favour of the BJP. However, by politicising the tragedy that happened in Kolkata, Mamata seems to be going beyond the limits of her desperation and clearly displays her fear of losing the state to the BJP.