With the Centre having constantly criticised West Bengal for not cooperating in bringing back its migrants, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday revealed she had told Union Home Minister Amit Shah that if he thought the state government was failing to handle the crisis properly, why didn’t he try and deal with it himself.
She also lashed out at the Railway minister for sending as many as 36 trains from Maharashtra expected to reach West Bengal in a span of 24 hours.
Addressing a press briefing, Mamata said, “I told Amit Shah, you are sending constantly central teams to Bengal. Go right ahead. But if you think the West Bengal government can’t do the job, why don’t you handle the corona crisis yourself? I have no problem.”
“I thank him for what he said in response,” she added. “He said… ‘No, no, how can we dislodge an elected government’. He said that to me,” Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying by NDTV.
“I would normally never disclose all this. But given the situation, I want to tell Amit Shah, take care. You have done the lockdown. But trains and planes are running. So what about the people?” she said.
“I want to tell PM and HM (Home Minister), please see corona doesn’t spread. We already have 1 lakh cases. Some quarters want it to spread for politics. Bihar is affected. Rajasthan, MP, it is spreading everywhere. What can I do? In this disastrous situation, I want PM to intervene,” the West Bengal CM further said.
Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had expressed his dismay over the state government stonewalling efforts by the Centre to facilitate transportation of migrant labourers back to the state.
Shah said that the West Bengal government is not allowing trains with migrants to reach the state, further creating hardship for the labourers and termed the act as “injustice” towards Bengali workers.
Mamata has claimed that the sudden deployment of migrant trains to Bengal was a political ploy to “disturb” her.
The Railways started running the ‘Shramik Special’ trains for transporting stranded workers on May 1, almost 40 days after the passenger, mail and express trains were suspended. These trains are being operated on the request of state governments.