Union Home Minister Amit Shah has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing disappointment over West Bengal government’s reluctance to extend support to help migrant workers reach home.
In the letter to Mamata Banerjee, Amit Shah has stated that the Centre is not getting the required support from the state government to handle the migrant workers.
According to the reports, the Home Minister has said that the Central government is operating Shramik special trains to facilitate the return of migrant labourers to their native places, but Mamata Banerjee-led state government is not co-operating. Home Minister Shah has also demanded an answer on the Mamata government’s inaction over the migrants’ distress in Bengal.
Amit Shah pointed out that the Modi government has facilitated the more than 200,000 migrant labourers to reach home and that workers from West Bengal are also eager to go back.
“West Bengal government is not allowing trains with migrants reaching the state. This is injustice with WB migrant labourers. This will create further hardship for them,” Amit Shah said in his letter to Mamata Banerjee.
The issue of migrant workers is the latest flashpoint between the Centre and the West Bengal government amid a row over the state’s efforts to control the coronavirus disease.
MHA writes to Mamata Banerjee for lack of transparency
Earlier, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had written a letter to Mamata-led government asking it to not block the movement of trucks across Bangladesh border after it was alleged that the state government was stopping trucks carrying essential goods. Responding to it, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) had attacked the Union Home secretary and accused him of “trying to please his political bosses in Delhi”.
This comes days amidst the controversy regarding the failure of the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the handling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the state. The West Bengal government has come under severe criticism for its laxity in dealing with the crisis.
While the state government claimed that they are transparent on their coronavirus data, the centre has time-and-again accused Mamata Banerjee administration is hiding the grave situation of the pandemic in the state.
On Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry had once again written to the Mamata Banerjee government, slamming the West Bengal government for not enforcing coronavirus containment measures effectively.
In a stern warning, the Centre asked the state chief secretary to ensure that lockdown measures were strictly implemented as its two teams had found “specific groups” in “specific localities” of Kolkata and Howrah violating the lockdown as well as attack police and healthcare workers.
IMCT slammed West Bengal government for its handling of coronavirus crisis
The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) had expressed concerns over the “extremely high mortality rate” of coronavirus in the State of West Bengal, besides highlighting the lack of transparent and consistent reporting of the pandemic.
Slamming the State Government, the IMCT chief Apurva Chandra had stated that 105 people have lost their lives to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic out of 816 reported cases in West Bengal. As such, the Mamata Banerjee-led-State accounts for the highest mortality rate (12.8%) in the country.
Highlighting the lack of transparency and vicious attempts to downplay the outbreak of the Chinese virus in West Bengal, IMCT emphasised on the need for consistent reporting and daily surveillance of patients in hotspots.
IMCT had also pointed out the discrepancy in data released by the State Government about the status of the pandemic in the State. At one time, the West Bengal Government put the number of infected patients at 744.