Opposing the Centre's intervention in West Bengal's Coronavirus (COVID-19) battle, CM Mamata Banerjee, on Monday, has not permitted the Centre's inter-ministerial central (IMC) team deployed to several districts in India to function in West Bengal. She claimed that till PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah share the criterion for such an intervention, she will not comply as this goes again federalism. West Bengal has reported 339 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths.
I urge both Honb’le Prime Minister @NarendraModi Ji & Home Minister @AmitShah Ji to share the criterion used for this. Until then I am afraid, we would not be able to move ahead on this as without valid reasons this might not be consistent with the spirit of federalism. (2/2)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 20, 2020
Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up six inter-ministerial central teams to assess lockdown violations and implementations in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. “Situation especially serious in Indore (MP); Mumbai & Pune (Maharashtra); Jaipur (Rajasthan); and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong & Jalpaiguri (West Bengal),” the home ministry spokesperson said. The team will on-spot assessment of the situation, issue necessary directions and submit their report to Central Government.
The state has seen several lockdown violations for past two weeks - notably in Murshidabad and Hooghly were several people gathered at a mosque to offer Friday prayers. Though police had dispersed the crowd immediately, CM Mamata Banerjee has taken cognizance of the repeated violations in that district and has directed the Murshidabad DIG to stop such gatherings. The MHA too has written to Banerjee highlighting that the lockdown guidelines were being violated in several parts of the state, stating that the West Bengal government had allowed more exemptions leading to a gradual dilution of the lockdown.