Slamming the Union government for allowing movement of essentials through the India-Bangladesh border, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Monday said the Centre should take responsibility for any instance of virus transmission from the neighbouring country.
The Diamond Harbour MP also accused the BJP government of not taking necessary steps to ensure safe return of migrant workers from different states before imposing the lockdown.
"The MHA has asked us (TMC government) to open the border for goods transport. Won't that invite more problems? Who will take responsibility if any (COVID-19-positive) person enters India from across the border?" the TMC leader said.
Earlier, during protests over the National Register of Citizens, the BJP had made "baseless allegations that the TMC facilitated entry of illegal migrants".
"Now they (BJP-led Centre) are opening the border gates amid the pandemic and endangering lives of people here," Banerjee claimed.
Seeking an explanation from the Centre for "not making adequate arrangements to ferry home workers", he said, "The Union government had imposed the lockdown (in March) on its own without proper planning as it wanted to take the entire credit for success, if any."
When the first phase of lockdown failed to yield expected results, the Centre was forced to hold discussions with the chief ministers, the TMC MP, nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said.
He claimed that the Bengal chief minister was the first to have asked the Centre to suspend flight operations.
The Centre "continued holding Parliament sessions" till March 23, despite requests by the TMC to adjourn proceedings in the wake of the pandemic, Banerjee said.
"Coronavirus entered the country on flights... Why did the Centre take so long to halt flights? Why did they stop international flights only after the lockdown was announced?" he added.