Kolkata, May 20 (PTI) The BJP's West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hide her government's failure to deal with the Covid-19 situation in the state.
Reacting to Banerjee's displeasure at not being allowed to speak at the PM's interaction earlier in the day with district magistrates and field officials on the pandemic despite being invited, Ghosh accused her of failing to create the healthcare infrastructure required to fight the disease.
The chief minister delayed announcing the lockdown in the state for political interest as she waited for the 'festival of a community' to end, and the situation was aggravated, he said.
'The healthcare infrastructure in the state is in shambles and to hide that, she is blaming the central government, the prime minister or the state of Uttar Pradesh,' Ghosh said in a virtual press conference here.
Medicines, hospital beds, safe homes, quarantine centres are inadequate in West Bengal and the state government has failed to provide Covid safety accessories to healthcare professionals, the BJP leader claimed.
'There were 13,588 corona beds in hospitals in the state till December last year, but it was nearly halved to 7,776 in April,' Ghosh said.
He questioned why the number of hospital beds was reduced if she knew that a second wave may come.
'The chief minister should have declared lockdown soon after the elections, but did not do so for political interest and waited for the festival of a community to end,' Ghosh said, alleging that the damage was done by that time.
Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, alleged that though the number of Covid cases is high in the state, 'the chief minister wants to play politics.' It was a meeting between the prime minister and district magistrates, Adhikari said referring to Banerjees displeasure, and claimed that she had not attended several meetings of the PM with the chief ministers.
'Cooperative federalism is the firm commitment of PM Narendra Modi unlike CM Mamata Banerjee who only believes in confrontational federalism,' the BJP leader tweeted.
Banerjee complained that state chief ministers were reduced to being puppets and not allowed to speak at the PMs meeting on the COVID-19 situation with district magistrates and officials, despite being invited.
The meeting was 'super flop', Banerjee claimed.
The officials, who interacted with Modi via video- conferencing, were from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. He had spoken to a group of field officials on Tuesday too.
Though Modi's interaction was primarily with district magistrates and other field officials on the COVID situation, several chief ministers, including those from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where these officers are posted, also attended. PTI AMR NN NN