New Delhi: A day after the Delhi government said it would entirely pay for the train travel of the migrant workers being sent from Delhi, in case their home states don’t, a Bihar minister slammed the Delhi government for creating such optics as he said that in reality, the Delhi government has already sent a letter to the Bihar government asking for the reimbursement of the money. Also Read - Virtual Rallies, Conferences: This is How BJP Plans to Celebrate First Anniversary of Modi Govt 2.0
“I saw a tweet by a Delhi minister saying they are paying for the tickets of 1200 migrants who are travelling from Delhi to Muzaffarpur. I have a letter here sent by their government asking for the reimbursement of money from the Bihar government,” Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said. Also Read - On First Day of Last Week of Lockdown 4.0, India Reopens Its Skies; Highest Single-Day Spike of 6,977 Recorded | 10 Points
“On one hand you are taking credit saying you are sending them back on your money and on the other hand you are asking Bihar government to return the money,” the minister said. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: State Govt Releases 2257 Convicts on Parole For 8 Weeks to Decongest jails
Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai had tweeted that the AAP government will pay for the travel. Bihar water resources minister Sanjay Jha said that Nitish Kumar had already announced that the Bihar government will give the workers the money once they reach Bihar. So, the government will not give any money to the Delhi government.
After Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi had announced that the state party unit will bear the cost, Centre said that the cost will be borne by the railways and the home states in an 85:15 ratio. However, confusion like this persists.
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat on Saturday expressed concern over the stand taken by several states to not take in migrant workers who were stranded in Maharashtra due to the COVID-19 lockdown. In a statement, Thorat, who is also the state Congress president, alleged that arbitrary decisions taken by many states regarding migrant workers had worsened the situation.
For example, he said, the Odisha government had decided to accept only those who had tested negative for COVID-19, while the process laid out by the Tamil Nadu government to take back their workers was complicated and time-consuming.
“Initially, Uttar Pradesh had also refused to take back its citizens, but now they have revised their decision and we have started sending them back,” he said, claiming that the Gujarat and Karnataka governments had also refused to take in their workers.
The Bihar government, who was cooperating until a few days ago, has now stopped entry to migrants, despite the fact that the Congress was willing to bear travel expenses of these workers, the minister alleged.
(With Agency Inputs)