In ‘Team’ India’s fight against Coronavirus, Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government seems to be the weakest link. In the last few days, almost all the chief ministers of the country have cooperated with central government to minimize the impact of the pandemic in the country. Even leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, who are always ready to lock horns with centre, have cooperated well; as all the leaders have put the life of the citizens above politics.
The opposition, including the Congress party, has praised the measures taken by the Modi government and Sonia Gandhi even wrote a letter to PM Modi, appreciating the measures taken by his government.
However, Mamata Banerjee and her party leaders made many irresponsible statements on the central government’s decision, and the TMC government is mulling over a few decisions which could weaken the country’s resolve in fight against the virus.
A few days ago, after PM urged the people of the country to come out and ring bells to show solidarity with ‘frontline workers’ like doctors, nurses, media persons, and sanitation workers, TMC leaders saw Hindutva agenda in it. “There is a Hidden agenda of Hindutva and the RSS in his (Modi) speech. We condemn such an approach during this national crisis,” said Subrata Mukerjee, a senior TMC leader and cabinet minister in TMC government. “He has failed to provide a direction to the nation in combating the pandemic. There is no proper proposals to tackle it. Rather, he was speaking of ringing bells, this is absurd. How will you combat coronavirus by ringing bells,” he added.
Moreover, the Mamata Banerjee government is hell bent to make the same mistakes made by Communist government in China. The Chinese government allowed the Chinese people to celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls in mid-January, in order to please people and support the economy. This became one of the biggest reasons behind the spread of the virus, as people gathered in the markets for shopping.
Mamata Banerjee government is willing to make the same mistake. The government is mulling over the idea to relax the lockdown to allow the people to celebrate Bengali New Year, which falls on April, 14- the day on which current lockdown is expected to end.
She said that the Central government imposed the lockdown without consulting states under National Disaster Management Act, 2005. But the constitution allows the states to relax the lockdown imposed by union government, and she is willing to use the constitutional provisions to relax the norm.
“The state government has powers to announce relaxations to the lockdown. Pohela Boishakh comes within the regulation period. But we may consider it (relaxing the total lockdown) after taking stock of the situation on 31 March,” she said, as per a report by Times of India.
Mamata Banerjee is of the view that the Coronavirus pandemic is under control and such drastic measures were unnecessary. According to her, the lockdown should be lifted in the first week of April, as the poor in Bengal are suffering the most due to the lockdown. “She says the poor are suffering a lot and such a long lockdown is totally unnecessary,” said an officer in West Bengal government, as per a report by Swarajya.
There are many other states like Assam, Odisha, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab which also celebrate spring harvest festival like Bengal, but the government of theses states is not willing to risk the life of their citizens and trade off of festival celebration. On the other hand, Banerjee is ready to risk the life for the promotion of Bengali culture.
TMC leaders, especially those from Muslim community, are not taking the lookdown seriously. As per a report by Times Now, Akhtar Hussain, a TMC councillor in Asansol had shared a video message on social media calling Muslims to gather for prayer, because he is of the view that only Azan can defeat the Coronavirus.
TMC leaders are not taking the pandemic seriously, just like the leaders in the Western countries, and the people of the state might have to pay heavy price for this. TMC leaders, including the chief minister, are busy in scoring political brownie points.