No State other than West Bengal is involved in so much conflict with Centre: State Governor
West Bengal has found a way to top national headlines and be in the middle of controversies. Be it the COVID-19, Amphan disaster or the State government's rifts with the Centre; West Bengal has attracted controversies.
Recently, as the disastrous cyclone Amphan ravaged West Bengal, many have condemned the State's level of preparedness in dealing with the storm. Even though warnings were issued weeks before the cyclone made its landfall, Kolkata suffered for more than ten days after the storm without water, food and electricity which shows that the West Bengal government did not pay heed to the warnings about the devastation that the storm might cause and just blamed the other agencies for their services. This led to a chaotic situation throughout the State in restoring all the essential services.
The disharmony between the Centre and the West Bengal State government is well-known. CM Mamata Banerjee has expressed her disappointment with Centre's decisions starting from the central team's surprise visit to the State to analyse the COVID-19 situation to the State not permitting special shramik trains. On the other hand, the Central government has condemned her lack of cooperation with the Centre because of the current situation.
In an interview with Rediff, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar said, "Why should the State and Centre fight? Framers of the Constitution had never visualised so. The State and the Centre have well-defined areas of working. A confrontational stance can only harm people. There is no other state that is embroiled in so much of fighting with the Centre. It is time for Mamata to reflect and affirmatively be in harmony with the Constitution."
"All over the country, farmers are getting assistance under the PM-Kisan Scheme. But 7 million farmers in West Bengal have got nothing. They would have otherwise received Rs 7,000 crore in total. The only reason farmers have not got it is because the data has not been shared by the State. My heart bleeds for the farmers. This is a cruel joke on them. Now, the suffering of the people of West Bengal is hurting me. I have asked everyone not to repair anything in Raj Bhavan till Kolkata is back to normal. I appeal to everyone in the country to help Bengal in its hour of need. Bengal will rise again and then stand for India."
After the visit of the central team to West Bengal assessing the coronavirus situation, the State has increased its testing numbers each day and has also actively started sharing data. But Bengal Governor Dhankar expressed his fear and distress on the health services that are not much developed in the State and are not easily accessible to the patients coming from middle-class backgrounds. He expects the State government to work more on these issues to ensure better and effective results.
However, the State's opposition parties stood up during the ongoing pandemic and have guaranteed their unconditional assistance to the government. But CM Banerjee's controversial statement of calling the opposition parties as "vultures in wait of dead bodies" came as a shock to the nation. "My persuasion to her to withdraw the statement has not fructified. I have suggested to the chief minister several times to adopt an even-handed approach in dealing with political parties as this is no time to look at things from a political prism or dictate actions with an eye on the vote bank. I have disapproved of the approach that on the one hand opposition parties' movements are curbed, while on the other, the ruling party members have free run. No one can countenance such quarantining of the political opposition," Dhankar added.