Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal chief minister, may be blunt and arrogant at times, but what she says has sense. The confrontation between the Centre and West Bengal after the Union government issued an order to recall the state’s chief secretary Bandopadhyaya worsened the situation after Mamata Banerjee said that the BJP-led government in Delhi is pursuing vendetta politics. She claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are trying to create problems for her government and insult her as they are yet to come to terms with the BJP’s defeat in the Assembly elections. She also said she is prepared to touch Modi’s feet if he helped her state to face the grave situation. She had 15-minute meeting at the air base with the PM and gave a memorandum asking for funds and then left along with the CS to visit a far off place which was affected by the cyclone. It was considered unbecoming of a chief minister who was supposed to sit with the PM while the situation in her state was being reviewed.
Mamata appeared petulant when she went away from the place where prime minister was sitting to review the flood ravage caused by the cyclone in her state. When there was a news item in which the BJP office alleged that she kept the prime minister and the governor waiting for 30 minutes before showing up naturally angered the countrymen. Whatever may the opinion on the PM one might have after his failure during the second Covid wave, he is after all the prime minister of the country and should be respected. However, when it was disclosed that the prime minister was not alone and he had the state governor and Mamata baiter, Jagdeep Dhankar along with opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari with him. This was not the practice to involve Governor and opposition leader in a review meeting presided over by prime minister. It was West Bengal specific. The same day the prime minister had reviewed the situation in Gujarat and Odisha. In those meetings the governors of the respective states were not present. Nor were the opposition leaders involved. Why was it done only in West Bengal that too without the knowledge of the chief minister. Three IPS officers were recalled to the Centre from West Bengal at the time of elections. Now the CS has been called back. This is unprecedented in the annals of Indian democracy. What kind of signals it would send to other states and the people of the country about the federal spirit of the prime minister and his government? So, Mamata had a point in doing what she did and in saying what she said.
Also read: Sorry, Shailaja Teacher!