Coronavirus in West Bengal: The Trinamool Congress government and the Centre are at loggerheads over the handling of coronavirus situation in the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for blaming the Centre to hide her failures in the state government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Party’s Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghsh said that Mamata has created chaos in the state and is trying to shift the blame on the Modi government in order to hide her own failures.
Reacting to the government’s decision to shunt Health and Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary Vivek Kumar, he said that in order to escape from the mess that the Chief Minister herself has created, the health secretary was made the scapegoat. He said that removal of the Health Secretary proves that there was “something seriously wrong with the state’s handling of the pandemic”.
“She has a habit of blaming the Centre for everything. This time too there is no difference,” he said.
He said that when questions were raised over the PDS system, the state government removed the food secretary. He said when questions are being raised over the handling of the crisis, the Health secretary has been shunted.
“This proves that the allegations were correct and the state government is now trying to clean the mess by using scapegoats,” he said.
“All the decisions are taken after a nod by the chief minister, then how can she deny her responsibility?” Ghosh asked.
Vivek Kumar, a 1990 batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, was posted as principal secretary of Health department in December 2019. He was transferred from the Health department to the Environment department on Monday amidst a barrage of criticism that the Mamata Banerjee government is facing over the handling of the coronavirus situation in the state. Earlier, food and civil supplies department secretary Manoj Kumar Agarwal was removed following reports of protests over irregular supply of ration though the PDS.
Ghosh said that the situation in West Bengal would have been much better had the Trinamool Congress government followed the lockdown guidelines strictly. He also chided her for remarks that the lockdown was “poorly planned” by Delhi. The Bengal BJP chief also demanded from Mamata government to preserve the ashes of Hindu patients who died of COVID, so that their family members can conduct the last rites with the ashes.
Earlier on Monday, CM Banerjee during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had termed the lockdown as “poorly planned”. The meeting was attended by all the Chief Ministers of states and Union Territories.
The West Bengal government and the Centre are at loggerheads over the coronavirus situation in the state. While the Centre has alleged that the state was not adhering to the lockdown guidelines, the Mamata government has accused the BJP-led NDA government of targetting opposition states.