NEW DELHI: Political blame game over Shramik Special trains continued between railway minister Piyush Goyal and Maharashtra government for the third day on Tuesday. Kerala chief minister Pinayari Vijayan targeted Goyal for railways sending Shramik Special train to the states without any advance information, which may imperil the state’s containment strategy.
Vijayan said the matter has been brought to the notice of Prime Minister.
Earlier in the day, Goyal accused Maharashtra government for its “inability” to bring passengers to railway stations. “Till 6 pm today (Tuesday), 85 out of total 145 trains were supposed to start from Maharashtra. But we could run only 27 trains as the state failed to arrange the passengers for running these trains,” the minister tweeted.
While Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray did not respond to Goyal, news agency ANI quoted Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik as saying, “Centre’s protocol to take permission from nodal officers of different states for movement of migrants was followed by us. Railway department was unable to fulfill the criteria of plying 150 trains daily. Piyush Goyal is trying to cover up railway department’s failure.”
Meanwhile, Vijayan also targeted railway ministry over sending a Shramik Special train without any advance information. “Indian Railways decided to send a train from Mumbai to Kerala. No information about it was passed to Kerala government. It was taken up with railway minister. We said that this would undermine measures taken by our government to ensure proper monitoring and control spread of Covid-19,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Vijayan said, “But then there was the issue of deciding to send another train in the same way from Delhi. Therefore, the matter has been brought to the notice of Prime Minister.”