Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has offered to bear the cost of 50 trains to bring back migrant labourers who are stranded in different parts of the country. Tejaswi made this offer amid political controversy over who would bear the cost of travel, with Centre clarifying that the travelling migrants would incur no charge, with Centre paying 85% and state governments, 15%, even as the Congress moved to attack.
राष्ट्रीय जनता दल शुरुआती तौर पर बिहार सरकार को अपनी तरफ़ से 50 ट्रेन देने को तैयार है।— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) May 4, 2020
हम मज़दूरों की तरफ़ से इन 50 रेलगाड़ियों का किराया असमर्थ बिहार सरकार को देंगे। सरकार आगामी 5 दिनों में ट्रेनों का बंदोबस्त करें, पार्टी इसका किराया तुरंत सरकार के खाते में ट्रांसफ़र करेगी।
In the next couple of days, at least ten trains are expected to reach Bihar. The first train which arrived in Patna from Jaipur carried 1,200 passengers approximately.
Attacking the state govt on Twitter, Yadav said, "RJD is ready to offer the cost of 50 Trains to Bihar state government. On behalf of the poor migrant labourers, we are offering the cost of 50 trains to the incapable Bihar government. The govt. should make arrangements for the trains in the next five days and my party will transfer the amount. According to the directives, the state govt. has to make arrangements for trains. Migrants should not be charged for their travel back home."
Yadav further tweeted, saying, "The government is making excuses to not bring back the migrant labourers. In the past five days, only 3,500 migrants have been brought back in three trains. The government is saying that they don't have money to bring back migrant labourers. The government does not have Rs 500 per head to bring back 40 lakh migrant labourers, whereas the state government is spending Rs 24,500 crores on Jaljeevan Hariyali scheme. In the past four years, the government has lost Rs 24,000 crore in the name of alcohol de-addiction. The government has spent Rs 500 crores on advertisements."
Bihar minister and Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, "Tejaswi is a non-resident Bihari, who always prefers to stay in Delhi whenever there is a crisis in the state. Earlier during encephalitis, floods and now during COVID crisis he is in Delhi. He himself lives in Delhi and is surprisingly concerned about poor people. The government is taking care of poor people. We have already transferred more than Rs 8000 crores in the account of poor people. He should not indulge in political gimmick by offering 50 trains. We all know that he is a school dropout and bereft of any knowledge that is why he is criticizing Jal Jeevan Hariyali scheme, which is meant to conserve environment and water ".
There are 40 lakh Bihari migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the country. After the Union government's directive, the Railway Ministry started Shramik special trains to different parts of the country to ferry migrants. Each train comprising of 24 boogies are ferrying approximately 1,200 passengers.
Indian Railways is running Shramik special trains keeping berths empty in each coach to maintain social distancing. The trains are returning empty from destinations under lock & key. Free food and bottled water is being given to migrants by railways: Railway Ministry Sources pic.twitter.com/MJKnI28jxn— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
Railways is charging only standard fare for this class from State Governments which is just 15% of the total cost incurred by Railways. Railways is not selling any tickets to migrants and is only boarding passengers based on lists provided by States: Railway Ministry Sources https://t.co/TiPKcBBTHZ— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020