Alleging that the BJP-led Centre was pursuing “vendetta politics”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday appealed to the Union government to withdraw its order recalling Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and allow the senior bureaucrat to work for people amid the COVID-19 crisis.
She also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were trying to create problems for her government at every step as they were yet to come to terms with the BJP’s defeat in the assembly elections.
Banerjee further stated that she was ready to touch Modi’s feet if told to do so for the sake of West Bengal’s growth and development.
“Because you (Modi and Shah) cannot digest BJP’s defeat in (Bengal), you have started creating problems for us from day one. What is the fault of the Chief Secretary? Recalling the Chief Secretary amid the COVID crisis goes on to show that the Centre was indulging in political vendetta,” she asserted.
Talking about the criticism she faced for skipping the review meeting with Modi on cyclone devastation, Banerjee said, “It was supposed to be held between the PM and the CM. Why were BJP leaders called to the session?”
She also claimed that opposition leaders were not invited to similar review meetings held in Gujarat and Odisha, the two states that also faced cyclone fury over the past few days.
Ms Banerjee contested the central government’s claim that she made the Prime Minister and Governor wait for 30 minutes, saying it was she who had to wait for PM Modi at the tarmac for 20 minutes.
Mamata Banerjee accused PM Modi’s office of feeding “fake, one-sided, partisan news” to the media.
“Don’t insult me like this. We have got a landslide victory, is that why you are behaving like this? You tried everything and lost. Why are you quarrelling with us every day?” Ms Banerjee said at a news conference “to set things straight”.
Ties between the two sides have been icy since long before the elections, with the Trinamool government accusing the Centre of withholding funds owed to the state and the BJP stoking a communal divide, while the BJP has blamed Ms Banerjee’s party of political violence.