Not allowed to speak, Mamata calls PM’s Covid meeting ‘insulting’

Kolkata, May 21 (KMS): The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has said that chief ministers were reduced to mere puppets and not allowed to speak despite being invited at Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s video-conference meeting on the Covid situation with district magistrates.

She said that the PM was insulting the spirit of federalism, adding, she along with her counterparts from many states was not allowed to speak, which was akin to insulting them.

“Modi was bypassing the federal structure and humiliating the chief ministers. This was not a one-way communication, but a one-way humiliation… one nation, all humiliation,” said Mamata, calling the meeting “super-flop”.

Sources said the DMs of nine districts from West Bengal, including Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hoogly, were asked by the PMO to take part in the meeting.

The DM of North 24 Pargana was slated to speak in the conference. But, Mamata passed instructions last night that none of the DMs should participate in the meeting, said sources.

The DMs of 45 districts from nine states and their respective CMs were present in the meeting. West Bengal, the 10th state, was represented by Mamata accompanied by Chief Secretary and Health Secretary. However, her comments were not sought.

Claiming she had gone to the meeting prepared to flag several issues, Mamata claimed the PM never asked about the availability of beds, vaccine or oxygen or about the status of the black fungus infection in Covid patients.

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