The Bharatiya Janata Party West Bengal President Sukanta Majumdar on Tuesday hit out at the ruling Trinmool Congress party claiming that a minister of the West Bengal government was providing monetary compensation to the families of Odisha train accident victims in Rs 2,000 currency notes which have been withdrawn from circulation as per the RBI recent announcement.
Posted a video on Twitter, purportedly showing a family from Bengal's South 24 Parganas district holding cash bundles consisting of Rs 2,000 notes, Majumdar said that they received the money as compensation after they lost a family member in the train accident in Odisha's Balasore.
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"A minister of the state is giving financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the victims on behalf of the Trinamool Party on the instructions of Mamata Banerjee. I applaud. But in this context, I am also keeping this question, what is the source of the bundle of 2000 rupee notes?" he said in a tweet in Bengali. Majumdar also asked if giving Rs 2,000 notes to families of the victims was a good decision, considering the process of exchanging the currency note was underway at banks.
"At present, the supply of Rs 2,000 notes in the market is low and the process of exchanging them through banks is underway. So, by giving 2000 rupees notes to helpless families, problems of the families have not been increased? Second, is this not a way for the TMC to whiten their black money?" he said. Notably, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 19 announced the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes from circulation while they continue to be legal tender. However, bank customers can deposit and exchange notes at the bank.
The RBI has stated that the facility for deposit and/or exchange of Rs 2, 000 banknotes shall be available for members of the public up to September 30, 2023. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier announced that the Bengal government will provide Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed in the accident.
"An amount of Rs 1 lakh has been announced for the injured and Rs 50,000 each will be given to the victims of the state," she said. The triple train accident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and the goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar station in the Balasore district.
The incident took place around 7 pm on June 2 near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar. It involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Express and Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express -- and a goods train.
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