The Mamata Banerjee government has once again tweaked the dates for the lockdown in West Bengal in August. This is at least the third time that it has amended its original list of lockdown dates, inviting offensives from the opposition parties.
Two days of lockdown are already over. Five more days were due on August 20, 21, 27, 28 and 31. But in an order Wednesday, the government dropped 28 August from its list. If there was a lockdown on 28, the government said, there would effectively be a shutdown for five days continuously as 29th Saturday is Muharram anyway, Sunday is a holiday and 31st is a lockdown as well.
The opposition BJP and CPM have attacked the government alleging that dates were tweaked simply because 28th August is foundation day of the Trinamool Chatra Parishad or student's front. Every year, Mamata Banerjee address a rally at the Gandhi statue in the heart of the city on this day.
In July, the day the government announced the dates for lockdown in August, the chief minister had held two press meets within an hour to make some corrections to the first list. The home department had issued a fresh order with amended dates.
In early August, the government changed dates again citing religious festivals and customs.
The BJP had asked the chief minister to withdraw the lockdown on 5th August, the day of the bhoomi poojan at Ayodhya but there was no response from the government.
BJP chief Dilip Ghosh had accused Mamata Banerjee of appeasement politics and said her party would have to pay a price for it in Assembly elections 2021.