Mamata Banerjee, Bhupesh Baghel to skip PM Modi's COVID-review meet with CMs

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel will not be attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's COVID-review meet with chief ministers of all states and UTs on Wednesday.

"West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to skip the meeting of all Chief Ministers with PM Modi today as she has pre-scheduled election meetings," TMC sources told news agency ANI.

In the meeting, PM Modi is expected to raise the issue of states where the virus appears to be taking hold once again, and is likely to stress on the need to accelerate vaccinations.

PM Modi's last interaction with chief ministers was in January before the vaccination roll-out. At that time, he had announced that the Centre will bear the expenses of vaccinating nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first round and suggested that public representatives, a reference to politicians, should not be part of this initial exercise.

Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, expressing disappointment over the state's measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.

The state does not seem to be serious about controlling the situation, the letter said. The letter also stated that Maharashtra is undergoing the second wave of COVID-19 while urging for focus on containment strategies. A central delegation visited Maharashtra between March 7 and 11 and also discussed the COVID-19 situation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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