Mamata Banerjee flew into a fit of rage against the Central Government on Monday and engaged in a long tirade against it. The rant was supposed to serve as an excuse for the disastrous manner in which the West Bengal government has handled the Wuhan Coronavirus crisis thus far. The Chief Minister accused the central government of not cooperating enough with her, a complaint not made by any other Chief Minister, and accused it of engaged in petty politics against her, when in fact it is the other way around.
During her rant, Mamata Banerjee reiterated the now overused and fatigued fake news about Narendra Modi promising to deliver Rs. 15 lakhs in the bank accounts of every citizen. She went a step ahead and claimed that the central government itself had announced that the said amount would be delivered in the back account of every citizen. In reality, the Prime Minister never made such a promise. While speaking about Black Money stashed abroad, he had only said rhetorically that the amount stashed abroad is so large that if the Indian government could succeed in bringing back all of that, then every citizen would get 15 lakh rupees in their account.
The Chief Minister further says that if an amount of Rs. 10,000 is given to every poor of the country, then if the lockdown is extended for two or three more months, then no one will be affected. In reality, the extension of the lockdown for such a long period of time is neither feasible nor desirable. The cost of the economic devastation and the consequent loss of livelihood caused by such a prolonged lockdown will be too grave. Therefore, the withdrawal of the lockdown in a phased manner is the only way.
Furthermore, Mamata Banerjee somehow manages to drag psychology into her rant and claims that she will follow central guidelines only if they are ‘proper, transparent’ and without any political interference. She was also angry that officials of the state government have been asked to keep the central government informed regarding the developments in the state in order to provide for better coordination. She claimed that it was taking too much of their time and hampering their work.
Mamata Banerjee also claimed that people from other states are entering West Bengal because lockdown has not been imposed well enough. She claimed that lockdown has been implemented effectively in the state, however, when ten people somehow gather at one single place, pictures are captured and claimed that the lockdown was not enforced effectively by her government.
Significant announcement by Mamata Banerjee
Briefing the press at a virtual news conference on Monday, Mamata Banerjee said: “We have taken a decision. If a person has tested positive for COVID-19 and he/she has the provision to isolate himself/herself at his/her residence, the person can home quarantine himself/herself. Lakhs and lakhs can’t be quarantined, the government too has its limits.”
It is pertinent to note that patients who test positive for Coronavirus cannot be ‘home quarantined’. They need to be isolated and receive treatments. It is alarming to note that Mamata Banerjee is indirectly admitting that there are so many positive cases in West Bengal that the state seems to have run out of hospital beds.
West Bengal sitting on a Coronavirus “time-bomb”
The suppression of facts and fudging of data has become a major worry for authorities and health experts in West Bengal, which has now snowballed into a huge controversy between the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government and health-care experts.
The health-care experts believe that the situation in Bengal is very grave as the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not been giving real data to assess the actual seriousness of the pandemic. From threats to doctors for whistleblowing against the state government against lack of facilities to allegations of state government illegally disposing of dead bodies, there have been serious allegations against the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal.