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'State Govts Implementing Authority, Trust Them': Mamata Banerjee Tells Centre on Lockdown

File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee said earlier guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs left the decision of enforcing lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic to states, but the Unlock 4 protocols makes mention of prior consultation with the central government.

Taking a swipe at the Centre over its guidelines of no lockdown imposition outside containment zones without prior consultation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said merely issuing directions is not enough, as state governments are the implementing authority and trust must be reposed on them. Banerjee said earlier guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs left the decision of enforcing lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic to states, but the Unlock 4 protocols makes mention of prior consultation with the central government.

"We have already announced our decision of lockdown on September 7, 11 and 12 and informed the home ministry. The lockdown will happen, we have consulted," she asserted. "The implementing authority is the state government,you have to have trust on it; only issuing directions is not enough," Banerjee told reporters here.

The chief minister said only the local administration knows best about the pandemic situation and in which areas lockdown should be enforced. "… In the federal structure, the central government is like the parents and state governments are its children;all of them are elected. So we should depend on each other, not quarrel," Banerjee said.

On resumption of Metro Railway service in the city,she said it is for the metro authorities to take a call on when it can be done, while adhering to all safety protocols. "I have seen in newspapers that they are planning to restart service from 15th (September) ; let them decide," the CM said.

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