Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she was yet to hear anything officially from the Centre about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled video conference with the CMs on April 11 about the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am getting the news from you. I haven’t got it officially. Once I receive it, I will let you know. First it comes out in the papers, then I come to know officially. This is the problem,” Banerjee said when asked whether she would be attending the conference.
Asked for her opinion on speculations that Modi could extend the ongoing lockdown that started on March 23 after the video conference, she said: “Just as you have heard about it, I have also heard. When it is discussed with us, then I shall give my opinion.
“Because this is not the system. If I say everything in advance on twitter before attending it, this is not courtesy. When they call us I will express my opinion, and inform you,” the chief minister said.
Banerjee said Trinamool Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay has informed her after video conference with Modi that the ongoing lockdown might be extended.
“But till we get to know about it officially, we can’t make any comment. Because we have to first see what decision is being taken by the government of India. We are waiting and watching the situation.”
The chief minister said the lockdown has put lot of people in difficulty.
“Chief ministers of Telangana and Punjab have called me. Our chief secretary also got a call from his counterpart in Bihar. They are not getting jute bags. They need these because the harvest season is approaching.
“We have lot of jute workers. But we cannot take any decision on our own, as it is the centre which is taking the decision, and we are implementing,” she said.
Striking a caustic tone, Banerjee said the states have to carry out the task, but “If something happens, they are held responsible.”
“But when something good happens, there are lot of people who rush in to take credit,” she said.
Banerjee felt the people’s problems have to be kept in mind if the lockdown was extended.
“It must be looked at in a humane way. We must be able to give treatment humanely. At the same time people also have to abide by the lockdown. We will be strict, but there should not be excesses,” she added.