As Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a video conference with Chief Ministers of various states to discuss how to go about the lockdown post-May 3, whether to extend it or exit the 50-day lockdown imposed since March 25 to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, Bengal and Kerala did not seem to be in sync with the Centre in this conference.
Chief Minister of Kerala Pinayari Vijayan did not attend the video-conference, making it the only state not being represented by it’s Chief Minister.
CM’s office said that since he was not listed to speak at the conference, he did not attend the meeting instead the Chief Secretary Tome Jose attended the meeting.
CM Vijayan had already raised the state’s primary concerns in the previous meeting with PM Modi and for today’s meeting he will send his suggestions in writing, said CMO . NDTV sources said, Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday called him to invite for the conference.
“In today’s meeting, there was no time allotted for the Kerala Chief Minister to speak. The Chief Secretary will be attending the meeting,” news agency PTI quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Meanwhile, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended the meeting amid speculations that she might not be available for the conference.
Reports suggest that CM Banerjee is upset about the meeting as some big states were not given time to put up their suggestions on the lockdown.
“Though she is not slotted to speak, she has decided to watch and speak when she gets the chance,” NDTV quoted sources as saying.
This is PM Modi’s fourth such interaction with state Chief Ministers since March 22 when he first spoke to them on the coronavirus situation and steps taken, both by the Centre and the states to contain the pandemic.
The nationwide lockdown which was imposed on the country on February 25, for 21 days to curtail the spread of Coronavirus outbreak , was later extended on April 14, and will come to an end on May 3.