New Delhi, Jul 16 : Accusing Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of inaction over the death of several tea garden workers and their kin in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri due to hunger, a BJP Lok Sabha member today asked the government to send a central team to the affected areas. “Darjeeling, which was earlier known for tea and tourism, is today known for the death of several tea garden workers and their family members due to hunger and malnutrition,” S S Ahluwalia said during Zero Hour, TMC members shouted back in protest.

He said a number of tea gardens in Dooars, Surendernagar and Dharanipur areas were lying closed for several months, leaving over 2,200 tea garden workers jobless and their families in abject penury. “There is no water, no electricity and no employment. People have to walk long distances in search of odd jobs and, given their physical conditions, that too is difficult,” he said. “West Bengal government is doing nothing to resolve the problems. I demand that the Centre should send a high-powered team to the affected areas, examine the problems, provide a financial package for the region and take steps to reopen the tea gardens,” the BJP member said.

As some TMC members shouted back protesting his statement, Ahluwalia said “chitfunds in the state have also fleeced these poor people by taking money from them”, clearly pointing towards the multi-crore Saradha scam.