BJP’s national spokesperson and Darjeeling MP, Raju Bista, today contested claims made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the Covid-19 situation in West Bengal.

“Nothing could be further from the truth than the claims made by Trinamul Congress Chief and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee regarding Covid-19 situation being under control in the state,” Mr Bista tweeted.

The criticism comes at a time when Miss Banerjee has started work to “recover” her party’s position by organising administrative meetings in South Bengal districts, keeping an eye on the approaching Assembly elections, and with a view to outdoing the BJP. Mr Bista, however, compared Miss Banerjee’s Covid19 fight with the neighbouring BJP-run state of Assam.

“According to official figures, over 8000 people have died in the state due to Covid19 so far. The death percentage for West Bengal is much higher than the national average. While death percentage in Bihar is only 0.53 percent, Odisha is 0.52 percent and Assam is 0.46 percent, the death percentages in West Bengal stands at 1.76 percent, which is much higher than in the three neighbouring states,” Mr Bista later said in a statement.

“In Bengal, Covid patients declared dead for days are showing up at home. Is this TMC version of ‘Corona situation being under control’ Mamata ji?” he added.

According to him, despite having much lesser population than Bengal, Assam, which has a population of 3.5 crore, has conducted 5089868 Covid tests till date and recorded positivity of only 4.1 percent, whereas West Bengal, which has a population of 9.9 crore, has conducted only 5301162 tests and has registered 8.3 percent positivity among those tested so far.

“Under an incompetent Trinamul regime, the Covid19 situation in West Bengal is definitely not under control, but rather it has gone out of control.”

Political sources said the BJP plans to further criticise the CM on many issues, “one by one” to the point to showcase her government’s “incompetent role” and by keeping an eye on the elections.

On the other hand, Amit Malviya, the newly-appointed BJP co-observer for Bengal, also tweeted, where he said: “When a health scheme that claims to cover 7.5 crore people actually benefits just 13 lakh, a meager 1.7 percent, it establishes epic failure of Mamata’s scheme. High time pishi keeps personal ego aside and implement Ayushmann Bharat, which will benefit 100 percent population covered.”

Two die in Siliguri

Meanwhile, two persons died in the designated hospital for Covid patients at Kawakhali in Siliguri today. A 74-year-old resident of Sukhia Pokhari in Darjeeling and a 70-year-old person from Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district died there today, sources said.

61 fresh cases in Darjeeling district

Darjeeling district recorded 61 fresh cases of Covid-19 today. Sources said 25 of the new cases are from the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, one from Darjeeling Municipality, five from Kharibari, three from Sukna, nine from Matigara, three from Mirik, eight from Naxalbari, five from Phansidewa, one from Pulbazaar/Bijanbari, and one from Sukhia Pokhari. Fifteen cases were also separately detected in the Jalpaiguri portion of the SMC. Also today, 106 Covid patients either ended their home isolation perioed or were discharged from hospitals, the sources added.

Dip in Malda continues

Malda continued to witness a dip in the number of daily Covid cases when it recorded only 20 new cases in tests conducted last night. Sources said 15 samples were tested positive at the VRDL in the Malda Medical College and Hospital from among the 997 samples tested, five more cases were detected in rapid antigen tests.

One dies in Alipurduar

In Alipurduar, one Covid19 patient died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll in the district to 81, sources said. A total of 37 fresh cases of the virus were recorded in the district in the past 24 hours, sources said, while 43 Covid patients were discharged from the hospital or released from home isolation today. Officials also claimed that the infection rate in the district had gone down.