Confusion over 'Diamond Harbour model', safety protocols relaxed
The confusion over Nabanna’s stance on Abhishek Banerjee’s “Diamond Harbour model” seems to have spread from Trinamul to the administration as Friday witnessed a sudden slackening of strict Covid-19 control measures that were launched in the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency on January 8.
“The strict measures which the administration had launched after a review meeting chaired by our MP were not visible on Friday.... The police were not slapping penalties or taking legal action for violation of Covid protocols,” a senior district official in Diamond Harbour said on Friday evening.
The go-slow on violators, another official said, was because of the confusion in the ranks on whether chief minister Mamata Banerjee was on the same page with Abhishek on strict enforcement of Covid protocols.
The Diamond Harbour MP chaired an administrative meeting with senior district officials, including South 24-Parganas district magistrate P. Ulaganathan, on January 8 where the plan to launch the “Diamond Harbour model” was taken up.
The plan to battle the pandemic hinged on two key aspects — double mask for everyone in Diamond Harbour and imposition of a fine of Rs 400 on violators.
Sources in the district said that policemen were deployed across villages and towns to enforce the plan and thousands of people were fined — some violators were even arrested — as part of the fight against pandemic.
A section in Trinamul think Abhishek’s opinion against conducting any major crowd event, including fairs and elections, for two months in view of the pandemic and the hype around the “Diamond Harbour model” has not gone down well with the chief minister.
Aparupa Poddar, the Arambagh Trinamul MP, criticised her Serampore counterpart Kalyan Banerjee for his recent comments targeting Abhishek Banerjee. Kalyan had publicly asked whether Abhishek, the party’s all India general secretary, could share his “personal views” on matters like holding of elections or fairs.
“If he (Kalyan) had anything to say, he should have used the party forum... I think Kalyan-da should resign from his post as chief whip. Isn’t he behaving like a Gharshatru Bibhishan (an enemy from own family)?” asked Poddar.
Trinamul veteran Partha Chatterjee said: “If there is any debate inside the party, it should not come in the media.”
He added that he supported the comment of Abhishek as he felt it was right.
“Everyone has been duly reminded that the differences should be resolved inside the party and it should not come out in the media. The party is observing and monitoring everything,” said Chatterjee.