The Trinamool Congress has accused the Central government of fighting the States while they are busy fighting COVID-19 . It termed the visit of an inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) to West Bengal “adventure tourism”.
Addressing reporters through a Zoom conference, party’s floor leaders of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha Derek O’ Brien and Sudip Bandyopadhyay respectively said Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee was informed about the visit three hours after its arrival, which was unacceptable.
“The IMCT team is on an adventure tour. The CM was told about its visit three hours after it landed,” Mr. O’ Brien said. Why such teams haven’t visited States such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, which had higher number of Coronavirus cases and many more hotspots, he asked. He pointed out that the Centre had sent the IMCT to the State citing ‘hike’ in number of cases in Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. “The last COVID-19 positive case reported in Kalimpong was on April 2, in Jalpaiguri on April 4 and Darjeeling April 16. Why have these districts been selectively chosen? What is the criteria” he asked.
Mr. Bandyopadhyay said 425 tests were conducted everyday and from today, the number of tests conducted daily would be increased to 600.
Mr. O’ Brien said that till March end, West Bengal had got only 40 testing kits.
Both the leaders said it was not a question of competition between the States or time to play politics. They urged the Union government to cooperate with the States. Once proper protocols are followed, the State would be happy to coordinate with the government, they said.
“Mamata Banerjee is the elected Chief Minister of the State. She is not a Twitter happy Governor, a nominated proxy of the Centre. Every time you break the protocol, you are insulting the people of Bengal. What’s happening today is exact opposite of federalism,” Mr. O’ Brien said.