A day after home minister Amit Shah criticised her ‘Corona Express’ remark about Shramik Special trains, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has clarified that her comment was misinterpreted by the media.
“A lot of you have wrongly interpreted it. I have never said Corona express. I said it is the public which is saying so!” Mamata Banerjee said to reporters on Wednesday.
Addressing the media at the state secretariat, CM Banerjee instead accused the BJP of putting the lives of migrants at risk. “What has BJP done for migrants? Why did they not transfer migrants back home a week before announcing the lockdown? Had they done that, migrants would not have had to face such trouble,” she said.
“When there is a rush, you have to increase the frequency of trains. Instead, they packed in 2500 people in a train that can accommodate only 1200. As a result, so many people crowded in trains for 48 to 72 hours. Why did BJP put these migrants in trouble?” Mamata Banerjee asked.
On Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that Banerjee’s “Corona Express” remark will derail the TMC government from Bengal. While addressing BJP’s Jan Samvaad virtual rally from New Delhi, Shah said, “I was amazed when migrants wanted to return home to be with their family in such an hour of crisis and Mamata ji termed their trains as Corona Express!”
“We had named these trains Shramik trains, but Mamata Didi termed them ‘Corona Express’. Mamata didi, this insult heaped upon the migrant workers from Bengal will become your exit route. It will turn out to be an express car to send the Trinamool packing out of Bengal. Migrants won’t forget how you added salt to the wounds,” Amit Shah said, addressing state BJP workers online.
Taking a jibe at the BJP over the Tablighi Jamaat fiasco, the TMC supremo and West Bengal CM had said, “BJP party went to town saying why did so many people gather at a religious site. If that was wrong then the government committed the same wrong by allowing such overcrowding in the trains.”
CM Banerjee informed the media that 11 lakh migrant workers have returned to the state so far, with another 30,000 waiting to reach Bengal in the next few days. “We had asked for a total of 255 trains, while most have already reached, 22 are still left and we hope it will bring remaining persons soon,” added Mamata Banerjee.