KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday complained that state chief ministers were reduced to being puppets and not allowed to speak at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on the COVID-19 situation with district magistrates and officials despite being invited.
Alleging that the Prime Ministers meeting was a “super flop”, Banerjee said that she along with her counterparts from many states were not allowed to speak, which was akin to insulting them.
She also claimed that only CMs of the BJP-ruled states were allowed to speak at the meeting, while others were “reduced to puppets”.
The Prime Ministers interaction was a planned event with district magistrates on the COVID-19 situation. However, several chief ministers, including those from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where these officers are posted, were also invited.
“This was a casual and super flop meeting. Only CMs of BJP-ruled states were allowed to speak and others were reduced to (being) puppets.
“We feel insulted and humiliated. This is an attempt to bulldoze the federal structure of the country. PM Modi is so insecure that he did not listen to us,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari counter-attacked his former mentor, tweeting today our respected CM has once again shown her total disinterest in administration.
True to her style, she has politicised a meeting Honble PM held with district officials, where grassroot level practices to fight COVID-19 were being discussed.
Adhikari complained that while Banerjee had skipped several meetings with the PM, she now hijacks a PM-DM meet to say she was denied a chance to speak.
Banerjee however complained that the prime minister neither asked how West Bengal is handling the COVID situation and nor enquire about the situation stock of vaccines or oxygen.
“There was not a single question from the PM about the ‘black fungus’,” she said, adding that four such cases have been detected in the state.
Referring to the PM’s claim that the COVID-19 caseload is reducing in the country, Banerjee asked, “If the total number of cases is declining, why are so many deaths due to the coronavirus infection being reported.”