As the migrant workers are among the many to be affected amid the COVID-19 lockdown across the nation, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has lambasted the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government over the situation of stranded migrants who wish to return to the State.
"I had a discussion with Home Minister Amit Shah day before yesterday. He told me that he has been continuously asking West Bengal government how many trains they need to bring back migrant workers but till two days ago state government had not sent a list," said Chowdhury calling out the lack of immediacy shown by West Bengal government.
He added that now after much back and forth, the West Bengal government has sent its request for trains. He also appealed to the Centre as well as the state government to work in cooperation and facilitate the transportation of the workers who are stranded amid the crisis.
The West Bengal government has been on the radar over suspicion of concealing the actual COVID-19 situation in the state and lack of transparency. The state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been at the loggerheads with former accusing the latter over the state's response to tackling the crisis situation due to COVID-19 pandemic and the latter retaliating back.
Over the migrant workers' situation, the other State governments in close cooperation with the Centre have started facilitating Shramik Special Trains. West Bengal government has now sent the request of eight trains, said Chowdhury.
West Bengal registered nine more deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 88 in the state. With 130 new cases, the state witnessed the highest spike in coronavirus infection in a day. The Union Health Ministry has, however, put the death toll at over 150. The state health department has attributed some of the deaths to comorbidities. The total number of active cases in the state now is 1,195.