New Delhi: Even as the opposition has vehemently criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a nine-minute nationwide ‘blackout’ at 9 PM on Sunday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the more vocal critics of the PM, has refused to wade into the controversy, saying that it was the Prime Minister’s ‘personal’ matter and she is no one to ‘interfere’ in it. Also Read - Invoking Power of 9: Viral Messages Claim PM Modi is 'Lighting Energy of Planet' With Diyas to Fight COVID-19
Notably, in his address to the nation at 9 AM on Friday, PM Modi, in a bid to keep people’s morale high amid the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown, had urged them to switch off their lights for nine minutes at 9 PM on April 5 and light candles, diyas, flashlights etc. Also Read - PM Modi's Appeal Rattles Power Sector, Officials Think 9-Minute Blackout Can Cause Grid Collapse
Speaking to reporters in Kolkata, the West Bengal Chief Minister said, “Why should I poke my nose into the Prime Minister’s affairs?. He will speak his mind and I will speak mine. If you think he has said something good, follow it.” Also Read - 9 Minutes, 9 PM: How PM Modi's 'Light Diyas And Candle' Call May Help India in Its Fight Against COVID-19?
“I will sleep if I want to sleep. This is totally a personal matter,” she added.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC chief) further asked media if it wanted to start a political war, adding that her focus is on managing the COVID-19 crisis and not on doing politics.
Her stand, however, is in stark contrast to that of many from her party, including Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra, who asked the Prime Minister to ‘get real’ and give the country a fiscal package worth 8-10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On a related note, the Prime Minister’s call for the nationwide ‘blackout’ has also triggered concerns over a possible collapse of the national power grid.