After Railways Minister Piyush Goyal targeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the arrangements for trains to take migrant workers back to their home states, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut hit back Monday saying the Union government must not view Maharashtra as “a state ruled by the opposition” but as “a state only”.
On Sunday, hours after Thackeray said the railway authorities were providing only 50 per cent of the trains required to transport migrant workers back to their homes in North India, Goyal had tweeted that the Railways would operate 125 Shramik special trains for Maharashtra Monday and asked Uddhav to share a list, within one-and-a-half hours, of the migrants who would board the trains along with their details, medical certificates, and their originating and destination stations, with the Central Railway (CR). Goyal also said the Railways was ready to send as many trains as required to states, provided they do not “return empty”.
On Monday, the Union minister again tweeted: “Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2 am, received list of only 46 trains of which five are to West Bengal and Odisha which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan. We are notifying only 41 trains for today despite being prepared for 125!!!”
Earlier, Thackeray, in his address to the state Sunday, along with his criticism of the Railways, had described the Centre’s fiscal package as nothing but a hollow promise.
On Monday, Raut took a dig at the Union minister, saying, “Though Goyal is a minister in the Union government, he is representing Maharashtra in Rajya Sabha. The issues of Maharashtra and Mumbai are different and the leaders from the Union government must understand that. If you are talking about sharing lists for trains, we have a list of trains that have departed from Nagpur and Pune without lists. Then, why are you unnecessarily asking for the list?”
While interacting with the media Monday, the Shiv Sena MP said, “If it (Centre) stops viewing Maharashtra as a state ruled by the Opposition and looks at it as a state, then the issue of lists would not arise. It looks that the list is being sought only from Maharashtra and is being asked by a minister from Maharashtra. It is very surprising.”
Raut further dismissed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s remarks on “ill-treatment” meted to migrant workers who have left Maharashtra in large numbers to their villages in UP. “We had made proper arrangements for the migrant labourers and will send the videos to them (UP government). When the labourers were leaving from the railway stations, they shouted the slogans ‘Uddhav Thackeray Zindabad, Jai Maharashtra’. Yogi might not have liked it,” said Raut.
UP chief minister had said the state will set up a commission for migrants to provide them social security and stated that other states should seek permission from the UP government if they wanted manpower from the state. “If that is the case, then we need to start an employment exchange here. UP CM should be focus on whether the migrants have reached to their villages and are getting food and water in UP,” Raut added.
Reacting to Adityanath’s remarks, MNS chief Raj Thackeray said if UP government’s permission is required for seeking workers from their state, then the migrants entering Maharashtra would also need to take permission from the state government. “The Maharashtra government needs to look into it seriously. In the future, any worker coming here for work should get duly registered with the government and the police. They should submit their details and identity proofs,” MNS chief said.
Rane demands Prez Rule in state
The former chief minister and BJP MP, Narayan Rane, Monday met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in Maharashtra. “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra has completely failed the people. The number of coronavirus cases in the state has increased and there is no supporting medical infrastructure for the people. In the absence of medical help, people are suffering,” Rane said.
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