Bihar Minister Targets Delhi Government Over Migrants Train Fare Claim
Sanjay Kumar Jha, Bihar Water Minister has hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi as they claimed reimbursement over train fares paid for the return of migrants stranded in the national capital amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Jha said that he saw a tweet by a Delhi minister saying they are paying for tickets of 1,200 migrants who are travelling from Delhi to Muzaffarpur (but) now he have a letter on his desk sent by their government asking for the reimbursement of money from the Bihar government.
Sanjay Kumar Jha added that on the one hand, the Delhi government are taking credit that they are sending them back with their own money and on the other hand, the Delhi government is asking Bihar government to return the money.
In tweets posted Friday night, Mr Jha released a copy of that letter, which said Delhi would conduct bulk purchase of tickets and “… you (Bihar) are requested not to reimburse passengers but… reimburse… government of Delhi”.
The letter send by the Delhi government was related to a “shramik (worker)” train service from Delhi to Bihar.
Mr Jha also attached a screenshot of a tweet by Delhi Minister Gopal Rai that said: “Train departing from Delhi to Muzaffarpur with workers. Fare for all 1,200 on board paid by Arvind Kejriwal government”.
Sanjay Kumar Jha tweeted that the problem with lies is you forget what you said. Delhi Minister Gopal Rai is lying on the Twitter as he refers there that the Delhi government will pay he fare and now you send a letter asking for money from the Bihar government.
Mr Jha also said the Bihar government had made it clear migrants who paid for their train tickets would be reimbursed directly with a minimum of Rs 1,000.
Gririaj Singh, Union Minister and also who has formerly been fiercely critical of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal (United)’s a tenuous alliance with the BJP also comment on the controversy.
It also prompted RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav to remind Nitish Kumar “we are a welfare state” and offer to reimburse the amount.
Mr Yadav tweeted: ” Dear Nitish Kumarji, stop acting like a private company. We are a welfare state and it is our responsibility to look after people. As per MHA directive, send us the list of passengers so we can directly pay to sending state. Our party is committed to serving the poor”.
Earlier this week a senior Health Ministry official said that 85 per cent of the tickets costs for migrants will be borne by the Railways, with the remainder to be paid by the respective state governments.
Lav Agarwal, Health Ministry Joint Secretary told reporters that we never asked states to charge money from the stranded labourers.