Mamata Not In Favour Of Lockdown, Night Curfew, Attacks Modi For Covid Surge In Bengal

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Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, thinks lockdown or night curfew does not help in fighting Covid-19. While campaigning in Malda on Monday, she said she would not go for lockdown or night curfew. “The situation cannot be bettered by imposing lockdown or night curfew. A sudden lockdown only creates a problem for the people,” she said.

The campaigning for the sixth phase has ended yesterday, and the same for the penultimate phase will be over on Friday. Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi, nor the CM is ready to stop holding big rallies. Mamata Banerjee is holding three rallies today in Murshidabad district. That district which is a bastion of Adhir Chowdhury, the Congress leader in Lok Sabha, has become a political hotbed. A Congress worker has been killed there today allegedly by the TMC workers. The campaigning in the district, it is understandable, is important for the CM.

Meanwhile, the BJP has decided to restrict the number of people for Prime Minister’s rallies. But, Modi will address four rallies on 23rd April as scheduled. He had plans to do a road show in Kolkata, though he may not go for it in view of Covid situation. Mamata Banerjee will hold only one rally in Kolkata. However, Kolkata means just 11 assembly constituencies out of 294 of the state.

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Moreover, Mamata Banerjee is now spending more time on Covid than other issues in her rallies. No, not on protection; she is using covid as a political weapon against the BJP and Narendra Modi. She alleges the centre is not giving her enough vaccine, oxygen or medicine. Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP president, has countered by saying that the state government was never serious about Covid-19.

Meanwhile, after Covid spread like wildfire, the state administration has woken up to the situation. One hundred Covid hospitals have been activated, and 200 ‘safe home’s have been made operational for those with mild infection. The government claims the number of covid bed has been jacked up to 11,000.

(The author Diptendra Raychaudhuri is a senior journalist based in Kolkata. He has a wide range of experience in covering West Bengal politics and has authored several books) 

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