Return of Migrant Laborers : Uddhav Thackeray’s Minister Accuses Mamta & Nitish Government

Mumbai : Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday alleged that West Bengal and Bihar were not giving the necessary clearance to run sufficient number of trains for the return of migrant laborers and that the speed of response of these two states was “very slow” ‘. He informed that 20 lakh migrants have registered with the Maharashtra government to go to their home state by special trains and most of them are from Bihar and West Bengal.

Deshmukh’s statement is close to the claim of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in which he alleged that some states ruled by opposition parties, including West Bengal, are reluctant to allow trains to bring back stranded migrants to other states. He said, “20 lakh people have registered in the Home Department to return to their home state. Most of them are from Bihar and West Bengal. “The problem is that states like West Bengal and Bihar are not giving the necessary clearance to run the trains,” Deshmukh told reporters.

The Home Minister further said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar have already spoken to the Chief Ministers of Bihar and West Bengal but their response is very slow. The senior NCP leader said that about 800 trains are needed to send migrant laborers from Maharashtra to their home states. “If all migrant laborers are repatriated, we will need more than 1,000 trains,” he said.

Deshmukh said, “Given the rate of registration by migrants going back, there is a need to run 50 trains daily from all major stations. At least ten trains will have to run daily for Bihar and West Bengal.” He said, however, that the West Bengal and Bihar governments were not allowing trains to run as per the number proposed by the Maharashtra government.

Deshmukh said, “When we informed the government of West Bengal and Bihar that migrant workers had registered the equivalent of 25 to 25 trains’ passengers, we were allowed to run only two or one trains.” It is sad to see the plight of migrant laborers.” He said that the Home Department of Maharashtra is in touch with various governments to allow special trains to run for the return of migrant laborers.” Deshmukh said that the state government is paying its share in the rail fares and providing food and water to the migrant laborers for the journey.

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