New Delhi: On a day a war of words broke out between the Centre and the West Bengal government over former’s allegations that the state was blocking trains bringing back its natives from other states, from reaching their destinations, the state government on Saturday said that it had given a green signal to ten trains carrying its migrant workers to enter the state. Also Read - 'Not Getting Expected Support From Bengal Govt on Special Trains For Migrants': Shah Upset With Mamata
Addressing a press conference, state Home Secretary Alapan Bandopahyay said, “The West Bengal government has given green signal to ten trains carrying migrant workers to enter the state. A train will reach Malda from Telangana tomorrow. 6,000 inbound passes for small cars have been approved.” Also Read - Coronavirus in West Bengal: Mamata Govt Only Bringing Back Stranded Migrants From a Specific Community, Alleges Bengal BJP
The official also informed that in the last 24 hours, 108 fresh cases of coronavirus and 11 deaths had been reported in the state, taking its COVID-19 count to 1,786, including 99 deaths.
“The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 1,243,” he added.
Notably, in a letter to CM Mamata Banerjee earlier today, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had alleged that the West Bengal government was not allowing trains carrying its migrant workers to enter the state, remarking that this was an ‘injustice’ to the workers.
Hitting back at the Home Minister, TMC MP and CM Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, had tweeted: “A Home Minister failing to discharge his duties during this crisis speaks after weeks of silence, only to mislead people with bundle of lies! Ironically, he’s talking about the very people who’ve been literally left to fate by his own government. Mr Amit Shah, prove your fake allegations or apologise.”
The Centre and the West Bengal government have, notably, been at loggerheads with each other over the latter’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Last Wednesday, the central government approved interstate movement of migrants, and others stranded across the country due to the nationwide lockdown, in government buses, in a bid to help them reach their native places.
However, two days later, it allowed states to run ‘Shramik Special’ trains after requests from them in this regard.