Opposition meet condoles cyclone deaths


[**EDS: VIDEO GRAB** New Delhi: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during a meeting with leaders of opposition parties via video conferencing, in New Delhi, Friday, May 2020. Twenty-two opposition parties urged the Centre to immediately declare the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in Odisha and West Bengal as a national calamity and called for substantially helping the states in facing the impact of the disaster. ( /PTI] New Delhi, May 22 : An Opposition meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday was attended by 22 parties. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackarey, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and DMK's M.K. Stalin were also present in the meeting. The parties in a resolution extended support to the government and people of West Bengal and Odisha in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan. "This meeting conveys its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives," said the resolution. "We express our solidarity and sympathies with those who have suffered losses." The resolution said the country and its people are already in the midst of a grim struggle for survival in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. "A natural calamity like Cyclone Amphan came as a double blow". It said people in West Bengal and Odisha urgently need support of the governments and people of the country. "The opposition parties, therefore, urge the Central government to immediately declare the cyclone as a national calamity and substantially help the states in facing the impact of the disaster". "Relief and rehabilitation should be the top-most priority. The possibility of outbreak of diseases after such a calamity must not be ignored. The opposition parties call upon the Central government to provide urgent help to our fellow citizens". Prominent leaders present in the meeting were: Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Rahul Gandhi, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D. Raja, Sharad Yadav (Loktantrik Janata Dal), Upendra Kushwaha (Rashriya Lok Samata Party), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Omar Abdullah (National Conference), Jitan Ram Manjhi (Hindustani Awam Morcha), N.K. Premachandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Badruddin Ajmal (All India United Democratic Front). /IANS


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