West Bengal announces free ration; 'better quality than Centre'
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that the state government will provide the poor with free ration till next year. The announcement came shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised free foodgrains to 80 crore people till November under the 'PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana'. Banerjee claimed that the quality of ration will be better than that provided by the Centre.
'Only 60% people in state get central rations'
Banerjee said on Tuesday, "Bengal will give free ration till June 2021." She said that only 60% of people in Bengal benefit from the Centre's ration scheme. She also said, "The quality of ration is better than that of the Centre." The statements come ahead of the state polls next year. The BJP at the Centre is the chief contender to Banerjee's Trinamool Congress.
Banerjee said India should give China 'befitting reply'
Banerjee also criticized the Centre over its decision to ban 59 apps with Chinese links after the June 15 Indo-China clash along the border in Eastern Ladakh. Banerjee said, "Only banning some apps will not give results. We want to give China a befitting reply. The government has to decide on that." Modi has said that China has already been given a "befitting reply."
'Allowing morning walks from 5:30 am to 8:30 am'
Further, Banerjee said, "We are allowing morning walks from 5:30 am to 8:30 am but social distancing should be maintained. 50 people to be allowed at weddings and 'sraddha' instead of 25." The state has extended the ongoing coronavirus lockdown till July 31, even as the Centre has issued guidelines for the second phase of "unlocking" from the lockdown.
Bengal urges Centre to restrict flights to state
Banerjee announced WB Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha has written to the Centre regarding metro and flight services. The state urged the Centre to not schedule any flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad, and Surat to Kolkata and Bagdogra airports for two weeks starting July 6. It also asked the Centre to restrict flights to Kolkata, Bagdogra, and Andal from other cities.
Bengal seeks relaxations on Kolkata Metro
In another letter to the Centre, Sinha has sought consent for relaxing norms regarding metro trains in Kolkata. Sinha mentioned that the city is unable to cope with the "tremendous pressure on the transport system for intra-city movement."