Kolkata: West Bengal State Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday suggested that the State government call the Central security forces to enforce the coronavirus lockdown strictly.
“Lockdown protocol has to be thoroughly implemented to ward off #coronavirus. Police and administration @MamataOfficial failing to effect 100% #SocialDistancing or curbing religious congregations be shown door. Lockdown must succeed-examine central para forces requisitioning!” he tweeted.
Dhankar’s tweet came in the wake of Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police taking additional steps to prevent crowds as people venture out of their homes to buy essential supplies ignoring the lockdown protocol in several areas of the State.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has often clashed with the Governor, has repeatedly said she wants “a strict lockdown with a humane face”.
Dhankar’s tweet triggered a fresh controversy between the State government and Raj Bhavan, but the TMC preferred to ignore him although criticising the Governor.
“The Governor has no other work but to try and disturb the state government. The Mamata Banerjee administration is completely preoccupied with responding to the unprecedented situation over the novel Coronavirus and has no time to respond to someone behaving like a BJP worker,” said Trinamool spokesperson Snehasish Chakraborty.
Mamata finds the support of Left and Congress
The West Bengali CM had a few days ago took umbrage at the Union Health Ministry officials for directly giving instructions to State Health Department officials by-passing the usual practice claiming that its law and order was a State subject and such action was against federalism.
The Left and the Congress, too, supported the CM. Drones are being used across the State to trace crowds and identify people violating the nationwide lockdown that has been extended till May 3.
Police are also using loudspeakers to urge people to stay indoors. According to a senior State Home Department official, over the past few days, as many as 1,174 markets have been relocated to spacious areas nearby so that social distancing is maintained in markets, while the area of 963 markets has been expanded.
“There still are 256 markets that remain crowded. The administration is looking for suitable alternative places nearby,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BJP MP from Alipurduar, North Bengal, John Barla, has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, alleging the authorities have put him under “house arrest” after he went out to supervise relief work and seized all the items telling him that he was violating the lockdown rules.