Mamata Banerjee accuses Railways of 'evacuating Maharashtra, spreading Corona to Bengal'
Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Indian Railways of "evacuating Maharashtra and spreading Corona to Bengal" by sending special trains for migrants workers to the state without prior notice.
She slammed the Indian Railways for playing politics with both the states and sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
As of now, 225 trains are expected to arrive in Bengal from across India. Out of these, 41 of them will be from Maharashtra, which has been the worst Coronavirus-affected state.
So far, 19 trains have arrived and migrants travelling to Malda, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur, have already contributed to the increase in the number of cases.
The Mamata Banerjee government is now fearing an explosion of cases once more trains start coming.
"I don't know why Railway Ministry has done this. How will I screen 2 lakh migrants? Will the Centre help?" Banerjee said during a press conference on Wednesday.
"Politics has overtaken everything. Am I to fight the cyclone and corona or politics? It is all too much," added the Chief Minister, whose state has been recently battered by super cyclone Amphan followed by another heavy storm on Wednesday.
"We had given a list and a schedule for migrant trains but were suddenly told yesterday that 36 trains are now leaving for Bengal. Maharashtra said even they had no idea about it. They have started politics," she said.
Banerjee also claimed that despite her government paying the ticket prices for the migrants of Bengal, no social distancing is maintained in the train compartments of Shramik specials and all passengers are being squeezed.
"Why is there no social distancing in trains. We are paying for the tickets. But why so many passengers in the coaches? You are evacuating Maharashtra and spreading corona to Bengal," she alleged.
"They (the BJP) can disturb me politically. Why are they causing harm to the state?" Banerjee said today. "I request the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to look into the sending of Shramik trains, so there is no spike in COVID-19 cases in Bengal. The PM should intervene," she said.
"Earlier I told Amit Shahji to take control of Coronavirus in the state to which he said how can that happen," complained a visibly pissed off Banerjee.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also raised similar allegations and criticised the railways' method of sending trains without prior information.