‘Anti-federal campaign’: Trinamool on Centre’s Covid-19 team in Bengal
On Tuesday, while addressing the media, O’Brien and the party’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay accused the Centre of playing politics during a national crisis.Updated: Apr 21, 2020, 14:49 IST
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha leader and national spokesperson Derek O’Brien alleged on Tuesday that while the states in India were fighting a battle against novel coronavirus, the Narendra Modi-led Central government was fighting some states instead of fighting the virus.
“About 70%-80% of the districts chosen for the Central teams’ visits are from states ruled by opposition parties. Why no district from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat is part of the list?” O’Brien asked.
“All states are fighting corona but we are sad to note that the Centre is fighting a battle against some states,” O’Brien said. The MP termed the sending of central teams to the state without consulting the state government in advance as an “anti-federal campaign.”
Two inter-ministerial teams from the union government landed in Kolkata on Monday to visit seven districts to inquire into issues regarding proper implementation of the lockdown and moves taken by the health administration. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday had strongly objected to this visit, terming the Centre’s decision as ‘unilateral’ and ‘undesirable’.
On Tuesday, while addressing the media, O’Brien and the party’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay accused the Centre of playing politics during a national crisis.
“The centre needs to explain on what basis the seven districts were chosen,” Bandyopadhyay said, adding that the number of testing in the state had increased to 400 tests per day on an average and that it would increase to 600 per day Tuesday onwards.
Taking digs at the Centre, O’Brien said, “We, despite our political differences with those governing Kerala, have no hesitation in acknowledging that Kerala has done a lot of good things just like Bengal has done too. Of course, there is scope for improvement in Bengal. But we restrained ourselves from criticising the Centre. We raised the issue on March 5 and 6 in Parliament.
“When we washed our hands or wore marks in the Parliament, it was called a gimmick. We did not ask why the Centre woke up late because our chairperson asked us to refrain from indulging in politics at this hour.”
Of the two central teams, the one for four south Bengal districts is supposed to visit North 24-Parganas on Tuesday.