Mamata trying to create division between migrants and non- migrants: AdhirPTI | Kolkata | Updated: 30-05-2020 20:36 IST | Created: 30-05-2020 20:32 IST
Continuing his tirade against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the issue of migrant workers' return, leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Choudhury on Saturday alleged that she was trying to create division between migrants and non-migrants in the state. Banerjee was unfairly putting the onus of the spike in coronavirus infection cases in the state on migrant labourers, Choudhury said.
Had the chief minister been proactive, she would have coordinated with other states to undertake COVID-19 tests of workers from Bengal stuck up there and facilitate the return of those tested negative, Choudhury said. "But she didn't take any such initiative. Rather, she is creating division among migrants and non-migrants by putting the entire blame of COVID-19 spread on the returnees," the Congress leader told a press conference at Baharampur, his Lok Sabha constituency, in Murshidabad district.
Initially, the Trinamool Congress supremo sought to take all the credit of the migrants' return by train, as her party leaders offered flowers and 'biryani' to them after they reached the state, he claimed and accused Banerjee of trying to hide her own failure in controlling the situation by blaming the return. "She failed to increase the number of isolation units and quarantine centres during the lockdown period. She did not convert all the ICDS centres, schools, ceremony halls in districts to such facilities. And when the situation got out of control, she started blame game," Choudhury, a bitter critic of Trinamool supremo for years, claimed.
Choudhury also charged the Trinamool Congress with running a "subtle communal propaganda" in Muslim-majority Murshidabad district by linking the rise in the number of coronavirus cases with the recent return of migrant labourers. "We must be alert of this gameplan of the TMC, the five-time MP said.
According to government data, Murshidabad district has reported a total of 83 COVID-19 cases till Friday. The senior Congress leader also claimed that the TMC wanted to project him as indirectly responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases in the district as he tried to bring back stranded residents of the district from other states.
"They are indulging in politics even at this time," he said. Choudhury alleged that TMC leaders, and not health officials, are now taking decisions on setting up quarantine centres in districts.
The senior Congress leader also contested the use of the word 'porijayee' (migratory) by the vernacular media to describe those returning to the state. Why should those people stranded outside be labelled as "porijayee", he asked wondering whether they do not have the right to return.
The Congress MP said the people of West Bengal are not following the lockdown norms in proper spirit and said, "As a people's representative, I am telling you with folded hands: please don't take COVID-19 lightly. Don't wait for the administration to tell you (what to do), follow the basic guidelines on your own."