CM Mamata Banerjee vs PM Modi over inauguration of second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute

News Desk: On Friday (January 7), Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in West Bengal’s Kolkata. However, a controversy erupted when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informed the Prime Minister that she had already inaugurated the hospital way before.

“The Prime Minister is virtually inaugurating this project. But let me inform the PM that we inaugurated it way before” the Bengal CM said. She pointed out that this was done at a time when during a COVID wave the state needed isolation centre and added that “this institute is associated with the state government as well”. The state is funding 25% of the project and has also given the land for the campus of the cancer hospital, she also reportedly said.

The CM however thanked PM Modi for inaugurating the hospital.

Rebuking Banerjee, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who’s the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, wrote on Twitter, while sharing a clip of Banerjee’s speech, “Not only you disparaged intentionally, trying to conceal the fact that, the Central Govt has provided 75% of the funds; i.e. 400 crores, but also belittled the Federal Polity of India and stained the sanctity of a solemn occasion. How unfortunate.”

Adhikari went on to add, “Guilefully articulating the emergency usage of an under construction facility as Safe Home during the second wave of Covid, to discredit the formal inauguration of the most advanced fully equipped Cancer facility of Eastern India is a deliberate attempt to mislead the people of West Bengal”.

The second campus of CNCI has been built at a cost of over Rs 530 crore, out of which around Rs 400 crores have been provided by the Union government and the rest by the West Bengal government, in the ratio of 75:25. The campus is a 460 bedded comprehensive cancer centre unit with cutting-edge infrastructure for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment, and care.

“The second campus of CNCI has been built in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to expand and upgrade the health facilities in all parts of the country. CNCI was facing a heavy load of cancer patients and a need for expansion was being felt for some time. This need will be fulfilled through the second campus” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The campus is equipped with modern facilities like Nuclear Medicine (PET), 3.0 Tesla MRI, 128 slice CT scanner, Radionuclide therapy unit, endoscopy suite, modern brachytherapy units, etc. The campus will also work as an advanced cancer research facility and will provide comprehensive care to cancer patients especially those from Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the country.