West Bengal govt extends lockdown till July 31

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on June 24, 2020 Published on June 24, 2020

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee   -  PTI

The West Bengal government on Wednesday extended the lockdown till July 31 with certain relaxations.

The move came after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested the same at an all-party meeting organised at the State Secretariat (Nabanna).

The four-hour meet was attended by major opposition parties, including the BJP, the Left parties and the Congress. This is the second such meeting that Banerjee has chaired in a bid to combat Covid-19 and its fallout.

“We have got different opinions from different parties. I respect their opinions. I believe that since Covid-19 cases are still on the rise, lockdown has to be extended with reasonable relaxations,” the CM told reporters.

“Hence the lockdown is extended till July 31,” Banerjee said.

Parties like the CPM and Congress has demanded that Covid testing be ramped up across the State. “Experts should give their opinions on extending the lockdown; not political people,” said Surjya Kanta Mishra, politburo member of the CPM.

BJP’s state president, Dilip Ghosh, said that he has made necessary suggestions to the Chief Minister.

Committee for Amphan relief

The State government has set up a committee with representatives from all political parties to look into distribution of relief work in affected areas post Cyclone Amphan. The cyclone had struck parts of West Bengal on May 20.

The committee was formed after widespread allegations of affected people not getting relief surfaced across districts. Clashes have also erupted between the Trinamool Congress workes and those of the BJP over allegations of corruption being levelled against some grassroots leaders. In some cases, the relief material are being allegedly directed to associates of select powerful leaders of the ruling party.

The Chief Minister has acknowledged that relief was not reaching to “all the affected”. District administration officials have been asked to put out “a list of affected people” and those whose names are not in the list have been asked to register their names with the district administration officials.

“Yes we have got allegations of common people being deprived of Amphan relief. We have asked the Block Development Officers to look into it. A committee with representatives from all political parties will be formed to oversee relief distribution. I urge all to have patience,” Banerjee said.

Published on June 24, 2020
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