Trinamool Congress has refused to attend the all-party meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday, to seek suggestions for expediting relief work in cyclone-affected areas, dubbing the whole exercise as 'suspect'.
The chief whip of the TC parliamentary party in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told PTI that the whole exercise was 'suspect' as the meeting will take place so many days after the cyclone hit Bengal.
"It is a desperate attempt to put a government seal on the efforts to get central funds for the cyclone victims when the state has miserably failed to arrange relief and rehabilitation," he said.
Bandopadhay said TC chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the party Members of Parliament to raise the issue of the state government's 'failure' to provide relief to the cyclone victims in Parliament.
The TC stand on not attending the all-party meeting came at a time when the party is insisting that any central assistance should be routed through the panchayats instead of giving it to the state government directly.
The West Bengal government has opposed the TC's demand.
The state government has sought central assistance to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore for relief work and rehabilitation of the cyclone victims.
The Congress has said that it will send two representatives to the all-party meet.
"Congress, as a national party, will attend the party meeting. West Bengal Pradesh Congress Commitee working president Subrata Mukherjee and Congress legislature party leader Manas Bhunia will represent the party at Sunday's meeting," state Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya said.
He also alleged that the state government had no crisis or disaster management plan and thought its task was over by convening an all party meeting.