Kolkata, April 3 (IANS) Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the citizens to light a candle or diya at 9 p.m. on April 5 to show solidarity with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday described it as a ‘personal matter’, saying those agreed with the PM should follow his direction, “but if I feel I will sleep, I will do that”.
Responding to a query on the issue, Banerjee asked mediapersons not to ignite a political battle amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“He has told you… You do it. Why are you asking me? I will say what I have to, the Prime Minister will say what he has to.
“Why should I interfere in other people’s matters? Should I tackle coronavirus, or you want a political war to break out? Please don’t ignite a political battle. If you feel what the Prime Minister has said is good, you abide by that. If I feel I will sleep, I will do that. It is a personal matter,” Banerjee said.
In a video message to the nation earlier in the day, Modi urged citizens to light a candle or a diya on April 5 at 9 p.m. for nine minutes to dispel the darkness and gloom brought by the outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus.
“This Sunday, April 5, we have to challenge the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to introduce it to the power of light,” Modi said in a video address to the nation.
“We have to take the Mahasankalp (strong determination) of 130 crore citizens to new heights. I ask for your nine minutes at 9 p.m. on April 5,” Modi said.
He then asked the citizens to switch off the lights at their homes, reach out from their windows, gates or balconies and light a candle or diya for nine minutes. Even torches and mobile phone flash lights would do, he said.