‘End lockdown with Raj Bhawan’, Governor tells Mamata Banerjee after Centre’s second warning over lockdown enforcement

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Updated: April 13, 2020 2:00:05 PM

The Home Ministry on Saturday wrote to the West Bengal government following reports of violation of lockdown measures. It was the second time in less than a week when the MHA wrote to the state over violations of the measures.

Dhankhar said that officials should be held accountable for lapses in enforcing social distancing rules and preventing religious congregations.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has slammed the Mamata Banerjee government for not adhering to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines with regard to the lockdown. In a tweet shared on Monday morning, the Governor expressed concerns over violations in the state and asked Banerjee to end ‘lockdown’ with Raj Bhawan.

Dhankar said that the country is facing an unprecedented crisis and it is time for everyone to stand together and defeat the deadly coronavirus virus. The Governor’s tweet comes two days after the MHA wrote a letter to the Trinamool Congress government raising objection over violations of coronavirus lockdown guidelines by the people in the state.

The Governor has often blamed the state government of keeping the Governor out of the loop on several of key issues and decisions. Governor Dhankar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have also had several run-ins over a host of issues. The tweet by the Governor today also hints at a possible lack of coordination between the state government and the Governor.

Referring to the MHA warnings, Governor Dhankar said, “(I) urge Mamata Banerjee to end Lockdown with Raj Bhawan. We are in combat mode corona pandemic and must act in togetherness in state interest.”

“MHA warnings must lead to a correctional approach,” the Governor said in the same tweet.

Dhankhar said that officials should be held accountable for lapses in enforcing social distancing rules and preventing religious congregations.

Earlier, a BJP delegation had met the Governor at the Raj Bhawan to apprise him about the situation in the state. The BJP alleged that there is discrepancy between the data provided by the centre and that released by the state government on coronavirus.

The Home Ministry on Saturday wrote to the West Bengal government following reports of violation of lockdown measures. It was the second time in less than a week when the MHA wrote to the state over violations of the measures.

The MHA said that “gradual dilution of lockdown has been reported from West Bengal with an increase in the number of exceptions being provided by the state government”. It said that shops (non-essential items) have been allowed to function and there is no regulation in vegetable, fish and mutton markets where people have been thronging in complete violation of social distancing norms.

According to the Union Health Ministry, 18 new coronavirus cases have been reported in West Bengal on Monday, taking the toll to 152. Seven people have lost their lives so far in the state.

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