PM Modi should resign owning responsibility for COVID-19 surge: Mamata

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(EDS: Repeating after correcting slug) Barrackpore (WB), Apr 18 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modis resignation for mishandling of the COVID-19 second wave and alleged that the prime minister failed in planning to contain the rise in the number of infections.

Asserting that PM Modi did little to address the possible crisis in the supply of medical oxygen and vaccines in the five-six months when the virus had lost its sting before its resurgence this year, Banerjee accused Modi of exporting vaccines to other countries to boost his image in the international arena while there was a scarcity in his own nation.

'For the rise in COVID-19 cases PM Modi has to resign.

He is the man responsible for the present situation. He did not make any administrative planning for 2021. And look at the situation in Gujarat.

'The BJP cannot tackle the COVID-19 spike even in Gujarat, and has brought the entire country, including West Bengal, to such a pass,' the TMC supremo said.

Highlighting that the West Bengal government had asked for 5.4 crore doses of vaccine from the prime minister for vaccinating every citizen of the state free of cost, the chief minister said, we are yet to get any response from him.

West Bengal would have borne the entire cost of the COVID-19 vaccines, the chief minister had said.

'I will send a strong letter to the PM today on this issue. There is shortage of oxygen and anti-viral drug Remdesivir in the entire country. Who is responsible for this? Had they given us the consent, we would have been able to vaccinate every resident of the state,' she said.

'The crisis of life saving materials has also been flagged by the Maharashtra government.But without attending this issue you (Modi) are attending election rallies in Bengal,' she said.

Accusing Modi of exporting vaccines to 80 countries, she said 'we have no problem if you help others in the world, but first give it to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, and other states of the country. You failed to do so and was only concerned about your image-building exercise in the global community.' PTI SUS MM MM MM