West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to skip the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the CMs of states and UTs to discuss the current Coronavirus situation and vaccination drive in the country. Sources suggest that Banerjee has opted out of the meeting which is scheduled to be held at 6:30 pm on April 8.
Instead of Banerjee, the Chief Secretary of the state, Alapan Bandyopadhyay will be participating in this review meeting.
The rivalry between Banerjee and Modi is nothing new and the two have been seen engaging in verbal war since the campaigning for the assembly elections has begun in Bengal.
The prime minister is to interact with CMs of various states to take stock of the Covid-19 situation that is increasing at an alarming level in the county, along with vaccine-related issues as few states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have reported going out of vaccine and oxygen stock.
The meeting will be held via video conferencing.
Modi had earlier chaired a high-level meeting with the CMs to discuss the recent surge of Covid cases and highlighted the need to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour in the coming days and ensure the availability of beds and testing facilities across the country.
However, the centre has rejected the claims of vaccine shortage flagged by the states.
On Maharashtra’s claim of having vaccine stocks for only 3 days, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “The Maharashtra government is blaming us for hiding its failures. The situation in the state has deteriorated due to the mistakes of the government there and the government is repeating its mistakes.”
Four demands to be put forward by the CM of Maharashtra in today’s meeting:
1. More than 6 lakh vaccines should be given daily.
2. Take the price of Remdesivir into consideration
3. Increase oxygen supply
4. Technical help should be provided to malfunctioning ventilators.
Fresh coronavirus infections have hit the record of the all-time high in India on Wednesday, as the cases surpassed the 1.26 lakh mark in a single day, pushing the tally to 1,29,28,574. Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh are among those states that are contributing to the maximum number of coronavirus cases in the country.