West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Credit: File image

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Thursday that many CMs were not allowed to speak in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on COVID-19 and dubbed it “insulting”, drawing a sharp retort from some Central government officials, who accused her of creating “drama”.

With Banerjee dubbing Modi’s Thursday meeting as “super flop”, some central government functionaries said Banerjee has a history of not attending the meetings of chief ministers with the Prime Minister, be it on the pandemic or those held prior to the outbreak.

Though Modi’s interaction was primarily with district magistrates and other field officials on the COVID situation, several chief ministers, including those from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where these officers are posted, also attended.

The central government officials, who did not wish to be named, alleged that Banerjee did not let the DM of 24 North Pargana district in West Bengal speak at the meeting with Modi to create a “drama” later.

Also read: COVID-19 challenge remains as long as infection exists even at minor scale: Modi

These officials also noted that DMs from opposition-ruled states like Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra spoke in the interaction.

Banerjee had said she along with her counterparts of many states were not allowed to speak which was akin to “insulting” them.

She also claimed that only chief ministers of BJP-ruled states were allowed to speak at the meeting, while others were “reduced to puppets”.

“This was a casual and super flop meeting. We feel insulted and humiliated. This is an attempt to bulldoze the federal structure of the country. PM Modi is so insecure that he did not listen to us,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’.

The chief minister also alleged that the Central government has “no proper plans” in dealing with the COVID situation in the country.

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