The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on Monday organised a rally and staged a protest outside the Kolkata mayor’s residence over rising cases of dengue in West Bengal, claiming that the Trinamool Congress government has failed miserably in tackling the vector-borne disease.
Carrying placards with faces of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her ministerial colleague Firhad Hakim, the protesting BJP youth wing workers led by party MLA Agnimitra Paul demanded that Hakim should resign as Kolkata mayor.
Kolkata is one of the worst dengue-hit districts in the state.
Meanwhile, CM Banerjee claimed that dengue cases are witnessing a downward trend in the state. “Dengue is related to weather and it will reduce further with the onset of winter,” she said speaking to the media.
“We saw problems related to dengue but the situation is not alarming now. If someone has fever please get tested. We have a strong blood bank. We have called a health department meeting on November 21 to discuss these matter,” she added.
MLA Paul alleged that the state government was trying to suppress information related to the disease since beginning.
Raising slogans against the government, the protesters reached the mayor’s residence at Chetla before police were called in to bring the situation under control. “Why is the state government shying away from revealing information on the number of people affected by dengue and the exact death toll? We have started this agitation over the worsening dengue situation in the state and will continue with it,” Paul said.
She asked the state health department to update information on dengue on its website.
Hakim dismissed the BJP protest in front of his house as “cheap politics.
“Dengue is unnecessarily being made a political issue. Dengue has taken the form of an epidemic. Bengal is not the only state reporting dengue cases. It is high in Uttar Pradesh where the BJP has government. The central government is not giving money to various sectors. It is a lie that information on the disease is not being shared,” said Hakim.
According to the health department, 723 dengue cases were confirmed on November 10, followed by 905 the next day. The figure was 945, 945 and 594 on November 12, 13 and 14.