‘Migrants sent in trains at random to politically disturb me’: CM Mamata
The Centre is sending millions of migrant workers back to Bengal in trains at random to politically disturb her as Covid-19 cases are spiking in villages that were earlier unaffected, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Wednesday.
Banerjee sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I would like to ask the Prime Minister to please help us,” Banerjee said.
Claiming that no state has the infrastructure to screen the passengers of so many trains arriving every day, she said, “While talking over phone I told Union home minister Amit Shah, a few days ago, to take charge of the coronavirus crisis in Bengal. I am thankful that he said how can a government elected by people be dismantled,” Banerjee said.
Banerjee made the remarks while addressing bureaucrats at an administrative meeting at the state secretariat. She also addressed the media from the meeting.
“The Union railway ministry should have discussed with the state and followed the schedule we had sent. They are sending the trains at random. Eleven trains are arriving tonight and 17 more will arrive tomorrow. How can we screen so many people?” said Banerjee and referred to the post-Amphan crisis her government is facing.
“Earlier there were no Covid-19 cases in the villages. Do not do politics,” said Banerjee, addressing the Centre.
In a new move, the chief minister announced that quarantine at government facilities for 14 days will be mandatory for migrant workers returning from five states. These are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. “Around 25 per cent of these returnees are turning out to be Covid-19 positive. This is bad news for the state,” Banerjee said. These people will be kept in empty school buildings she added and formed special task forces in every community block area.
Incidentally, two days ago, the chief minister said those returning to Bengal could stay in home quarantine for two weeks as long as they followed the regulations and their movements were monitored by the health department.
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “Banerjee is trying to divert attention because right from the beginning she did not want to take responsibility of the migrant workers.”
“The chief minister is a failure in every area, be it the Covid-19 crisis or Cyclone Amphan. Now she is begging the Centre to make her look like a martyr because she knows that people in her party are in touch with Amit Shah,” CPI(M) legislator Sujan Chakraborty said.