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PM Modi, Amit Shah, Jaishankar speak to Mamata on Covid-19; assure full support

According to a senior Trinamool Congress minister, PM Modi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee spoke for about 10 minutes.

Updated: Mar 28, 2020 15:59 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI file photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and external affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday evening, and took stock of the situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministers assured the state government of the Centre’s cooperation in dealing with the disease.

According to a senior Trinamool Congress minister, PM Modi and Banerjee spoke for about 10 minutes.

“The chief minister told the prime minister that the state should be allowed to borrow 5 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, instead of the present ceiling of 3 percent, to deal with the pandemic. The PM didn’t give any assurance though,” a senior TMC minister, who had knowledge of the conversation said, requesting anonymity.

Later, Shah told Banerjee that the Centre was ready to provide the state with paramilitary and reserve police forces to enforce the lockdown.



The Union government has entrusted a cabinet minister for each state and Jaishankar is responsible for West Bengal.

According to a senior minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet who did not want to be identified, Jaishankar had recently spoken to a few district magistrates over the phone. Banerjee, during her conversation with the foreign minister on Friday, suggested that Jaishankar should speak to the chief secretary instead of district magistrates.

Bengal has so far recorded 15 cases of Covid-19 positive patients. One of them, a 57-year-old man, has died, and another patient, a 66-year-old man, has been kept under life support at a private hospital.

Ajay Chakraborty, state director of health services, has said Bengal has not recorded any case of ‘community transmission’ of coronavirus as of Friday.

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