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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Why PM Modi insecure, did not let CMs speak, we aren’t puppets: Mamata Banerjee

"We feel insulted and humiliated. A dictatorship is going on. The Prime Minister is feeling so insecure that he did not even listen to the chief ministers. What is this fear about?" Mamata Banerjee asked.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
Updated: May 21, 2021 1:52:59 am
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (FIle)

A FORTNIGHT after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren complained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would only speak and not listen, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the PM meeting with CMs on Thursday as “one-way humiliation”.

“This was not a one-way communication… it was one-way humiliation… One nation, all humiliation,” Banerjee told media persons after attending the PM meeting with District Magistrates and some Chief Ministers on the Covid situation.

Eto insecure keno je Chief Minister der kotha bolte deoa hobe na? Eto bhoy kiser? Chief Ministers ra puppets noy. Amra bonded labourers noi (Why so insecure that he is not even allowing Chief Ministers to speak. What is this fear about? Chief Ministers are not puppets. We are not bonded labourers),” she said.

Describing the meeting as “casual, super flop”, she said, “All the CMs are feeling insulted and humiliated… All the CMs were sitting just like puppets. Nobody was allowed to speak. Then how do we speak about the public demands?” she said.

Criticising the Prime Minister for taking the Covid-19 situation “lightly” and “evading” queries from states on vaccines, oxygen and medicines, the Chief Minister said, “Eto bhoy je mukh lukie palie jache (He is so scared that he is running away hiding his face).”

“Today, the federal structure is being bulldozed. The Centre has time to build massive buildings and statues but has no time to listen to the Chief Ministers. The country is at a critical juncture but the PM is so casual (in his approach). Delhi’s Shahenshah is saying sab theek hai (all is well) when everyday people are dying,” said Banerjee.

Responding to a question on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee said there is a need to form a team against the BJP. “I don’t know what others will do, but there is a need to form a team against the BJP government at the Centre. It will be a fight between democracy against dictatorship,” she said.

The BJP, however, said Banerjee for politicising the PM’s meeting. “5 out of the 7 District Officials who spoke today belonged to non-BJP ruled states of Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and AP. Cooperative federalism is the firm commitment of PM @narendramodi unlike CM @MamataOfficial who only believes in confrontational federalism,” said Suvendu Adhikari, BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, in a tweet.

On May 6, after the Prime Minister spoke over phone with several CMs, Hemanth Soren, Chief Minister, Jharkhand, had said in a tweet, “Aaj aadarniya Pradhan Mantri ne phone kiya. Unhoney sirf apne mann ki baat ki. Behtar hota yadi woh kaam ki baat karte aur kaam ki baat sunte (The Prime Minister called today. He said only what he had in his mind; would have been better had he heard the other side too).

Mamata Banerjee also sought to know why the Centre would not probe the allegations of Covid-infected bodies being dumped in Ganga river. “The Centre has turned Namami Gange into Mrityupuri Gange. Covid-19 infected bodies are being dumped in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and these are flowing into Bengal. It is polluting the water and causing damage to the environment. This is also spreading infection. Why aren’t Central teams or CBI being sent there to take stock of the situation?” she said, alluding to the arrest of four Trinamool party leaders earlier this week by the CBI on a five-year old sting operation case.

“There was not a single question from the Prime Minister about the black fungus infection. Four such cases have been detected in the state. The PM claimed that the Covid-19 caseload is reducing in the country. If the total number of cases is declining, then why are so many Covid deaths being reported,” she said.

Adhikari said Banerjee was once again showing disinterest in administration. “True to her style, she has politicised a meeting Hon’ble PM @narendramodi held with District Officials, where grassroots level practices to fight COVID-19 were being discussed,” he said in another tweet. “To state clearly, PM @narendramodi has held numerous meetings with Chief Ministers in the last few months, how many did @MamataOfficial attend? ZERO. Now, she hijacks a PM-DM meet to say she was denied a chance to speak. Shameful!” he said.

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