Amid an ongoing blame-game between the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the Centre to transfer Rs 10,000 each to the bank account of migrant workers.
“People have been facing economic hardship of unimaginable proportions bcz of the ongoing pandemic. I appeal to Central Govt to transfer ₹10,000 each as one-time assistance to migrant labourers including people in unorganized sector. A portion of PM-CARES could be used for this,” Banerjee wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Her demand came a day after her government claimed to have transferred Rs 20,000 to the bank account of each of those whose homes got destroyed by the cyclone Amphan.
“I’m happy to share that GoWB has transferred funds to nearly 5L affected people for repairing their homes, released crop damage assistance to 23.3L farmers, apart from 2L betel farmers. We’ve released ₹1444 Cr so far, against an initial estimate of ₹1350 Cr,” she said on Tuesday.
Following her demand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary Rahul Sinha said that the chief minister is trying to divert attention from her mismanagement in bringing migrant workers back from other states.
“The Centre had to give several pushes to the state government to make it agree to allow Shramik Special trains in the state. Migrant workers are angry with her because of her apathy. She is trying to skip her responsibilities of finding these workers alternative jobs,” Sinha said.
According to the state government, more than 5 lakh migrant workers have returned to Bengal using trains, buses and other transport vehicles.
The Trinamool Congress has been alleging that the crisis of the migrant workers was created by the Centre’s “unplanned lockdown announcement.” The chief minister had also alleged that the railways’ move to send trains packed with migrant workers – with the middle berths not left vacant – was leading to a spike in the spread of Covid-19 among migrant workers and ultimately resulting in the spread of the disease in rural Bengal.
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