Centre's policies on lockdown confusing, arbitrary: Mamata Banerjee

Banerjee said that she attended the meeting with Modi along with other chief ministers, hoping that she will get to speak and clarify her government’s views on the lockdown
The Centre’s policies on the lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak are confusing, contradictory and made without consulting the states, said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday hours after her video meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Centre is asking for “complete enforcement of the lockdown” but it is issuing circulars permitting shops to open. "If shops are permitted to open, how can we then ask people to remain indoors and not venture outside. If they go out, it will lead to crowding and then the lockdown will fail. The Centre is taking decisions without consulting the states,” she said in Kolkata.

Banerjee said that she attended the meeting with Modi along with other chief ministers, hoping that she will get to speak and clarify her government’s views on the lockdown. “I will follow all the Centre’s orders but it has to be proper, transparent and without any political interference.”

Banerjee has demanded that least six per cent India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is allotted to states to fight the coronavirus and help those who have been hit the hardest in the lockdown. The Centre should prepare short-, mid-, and long-term plans in consultation with states. 


Banerjee said the authorities have plans for red, orange and green zones—colour schemes given to places according to the severity of coronavirus outbreak. The aim is to slowly move a red zone to orange and then green, where businesses are allowed with strict rules for social distancing.

Of the 4,370 applications received to open plants and factories in West Bengal, 2,084 have got permission and 1,463 rejected. Another 823 are under consideration.

Mamata’s statements after two inter-ministerial central government teams (IMCT) visited the state to study the coronavirus. Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress, have alleged the visits were politically motivated and meant to malign the state government’s goodwill.


Banerjee said, “Every now and then IMCTs are calling the chief and health secretaries. There is so much work to do. Will they do their own work or rush to attend IMCT’s calls”.

The state government has come up with a Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 Management comprising including the state’s finance minister Amit Mitra, parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee, chief secretary Rajiva Sinha and others.



Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel