Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today picked up Kerala’s refrain, accusing the Railway Ministry of sending the special trains for migrants with none prior notice and disrupting the state’s methods to contain the corona virus. Accusing the railways of “evacuating Maharashtra and spreading corona to Bengal” and playing politics with both states, she sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention.
Altogether 225 trains are expected to arrive in Bengal from across India, 41 of them are going to be from Maharashtra, the state with the utmost number of corona virus patients. So far, only 19 trains have arrived, but already, areas within the north and central parts of the state — Malda, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur. — where migrants are making their way, have started reporting a jump in cases.
The government fears an explosion in corona virus cases once all the trains arrive.
“I do not know why Railway Ministry has done this. How will I screen 2 lakh migrants? Will the Center help?” Mamata Banerjee said. “Politics has overtaken everything. Am I too fight the cyclone and corona or politics? It’s only too much,” added the Chief Minister.
“We had given an inventory and a schedule for migrant trains but were suddenly told yesterday that 36 trains are now leaving for Bengal. Maharashtra said even that they had no idea about it. they need to start politics,” she said.
Ms Banerjee also accused the railways of not practicing social distancing within the trains, albeit the states are paying the bill.
“Why is there no social distancing in trains. We are paying for tickets. But why numerous passengers within the coaches? You’re evacuating Maharashtra and spreading corona to Bengal,” she said.
“They (the BJP) can disturb me politically. Why are they causing harm to the state?” Ms Banerjee said today. “I request the Prime Minister and therefore the Home Minister to seem into the sending of Shramik trains, so there’s no spike in COVID-19 cases in Bengal. The PM should intervene,” she added.
Yesterday, Kerala flagged an equivalent issue. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the railways, ‘ method of sending trains without prior information could derail the state’s protocol to regulate the corona virus. Minister of finance Thomas Isaac alleged that railways, “want to be the super spreader” of the disease in Kerala.