Centre didn’t consult states before implementing lockdown, triggered chaos: Chhattisgarh CM
Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh CM, has been leading the offensive against the Central Government for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Baghel has once again said that the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown “without consulting the state government which led to chaos.”
India has entered the last week of the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centre has already initiated the consultations regarding whether to extend the lockdown or opt for a staggered exit. While the Narendra Modi government has been signalling that the state governments have been working in full cooperation with the Centre, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has once again expressed his differences.
On Thursday, the senior Congress leader and CM made an accusation. “Bharat Sarkar had not consulted the state governments before imposing the nationwide lockdown”. The lack of consultation triggered chaos and mass “violations of lockdown jeopardised” the attempts to contain the Coronavirus outbreak, he said.
Bhagel has also pointed out that the state governments need more assistance in terms of resources and funds from the Central government.
Notably, the Chhattisgarh CM has held the Central government responsible for the spread of Coronavirus in India.
“Bharat Sarkar should have quarantined all those returning from international flights. The pandemic entered the country through those who had returned from foreign countries,” Bhagel said while interacting with the media during a digital press conference. “Had the Centre shared the details with respective state governments of those returning from international flights and taking domestic flights into the states, such individuals could have been quarantined,” he said.
Baghel claimed that because Chhattisgarh had acted in advance, and isolated and quarantined those with foreign travel history, the pandemic didn’t spread in the tribal state.
According to Union Health Ministry data, so far only 10 Coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Chhattisgarh. Out of these, nine cases have either been cured or have migrated. The state continues to be among st the states where the least number of COVID-19 cases have been detected so far.
The Chhattisgarh CM has also demanded that the Modi government should increase the financial relief being provided through the Jan Dhan accounts. “The amount should be increased to Rs 750. Also, they should give Rs 500 to per individual per family,” he said.
Importantly, several state governments have indicated that they want the Centre to extend the ongoing nationwide lockdown. States such as Telangana have publicly expressed the need for an extension of the restriction. While the opposition parties had also asked the Centre to extend the lockdown, the final call on the issue is likely to be taken during PM Modi’s meeting with all state CMs scheduled to happen on April 11.
Meanwhile, Baghel didn’t give a clear answer when asked whether his government supports the chorus for the extension. He said the state government will decide upon the issue during a cabinet meeting on April 12.