Mamata Banerjee blocks central aid to West Bengal for fear of losing state polls: BJP

NEW DELHI: The BJP has alleged that the Mamata Banerjee The government has been blocking aid measures related to Covid-19 for fear of losing the assembly elections in the state.

West Bengal plans to go to the polls in May 2021.

BJP national general secretary in charge of West Bengal, accused West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of not taking the novel pandemic seriously and playing with the lives of the people of the state.

Talking to on phone from Indore, his hometown where he is at present due to the ongoing lockdown, Vijayvargiya said, “Mamata Banerjee is playing politics even in the present times of Covid-19. She has the state assembly election in mind and fears that if the Modi government succeeds in containing damage due to the pandemic, BJP will earn credit and her TMC (Trinamool Congress) will lose the election. ”

He claimed that the people of West Bengal were afraid of the prevailing situation in the state due to the irresponsible behavior of the Mamata government.

Kailash Vijayvargiya charged Mamata Banerjee with risking the lives of crores of people of the state just because of politics. I've condemned the TMC government for, what he called, peddling lies about the work being done in the state to fight coronavirus.

He accused her of falsifying the numbers of patients with coronavirus, deceiving people, appropriating the ration sent by the center while keeping people in the state hungry and failing to provide security for health workers.

The searched for TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien's reactions to Kailash Vijayvargiya's furies. However, he could not be contacted despite several attempts.

Meanwhile, the center and the West Bengal government have been discussing Covid-19 related issues in the eastern state.

In the last dispute, Minister of the Interior Amit Shah wrote to Mamata Banerjee on May 9 accusing her government of not allowing shramik (worker) trains run by the to reach the state. He said it was an injustice for migrant workers from the state.

His letter said: ... we are not receiving the expected support from West Bengal. The state government does not allow trains to arrive. This is an injustice to migrant workers from West Bengal. This will create more difficulties for them.

However, Shah’s accusation was immediately rebutted by Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee. In a tweet, I've called the home minister’s charges a “bundle of lies” asking him to prove them or apologize.

A day after Shah’s letter to Mamata Banerjee, railways minister appealed to all the states to allow special trains for the stranded migrant laborers to enter.

He said: “I call on all states to give permission to evacuate and bring back their stranded migrants so that we can bring them home in the next 3-4 days. According to the Prime Minister's instructions Narendra Modi Railways is fully prepared to run 300 special Shramik trains every day on short notice from the last six days.

Piyush Goyal reported that as of May 10, 366 Shramik special trains had traveled throughout the country

Earlier, the center and the Mamata Banerjee government had locked horns over the visit of inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs) to West Bengal to assess the situation in Kolkata and Jalpaiguri last month. Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote a letter to West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha stating that the central teams were restrained from paying visits, interacting with the health professionals and assessing the ground situation.

Later, however, the West Bengal government transmitted to the Union government that it was cooperating with the core teams.

West Bengal's chief secretary Rajiva Sinha responded to the Union's secretary of the interior to convey his guarantees for the implementation of the central government order and the Disaster Management Law, as well as the instructions of the Supreme Court.

Mamata Banerjee has been blowing hot and cold over the Modi government over a number of issues such as demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the likes. However, the fight over relief to coronavirus patients is the latest in the series of tussles between the two governments.