Why the PM CARES fund is not used to transport migrants, questions TMC

NEW DELHI: On Monday, the Trinamool Congress joined other opposition parties to confront the Center for charging rail fees to migrant workers who were stranded during the national shutdown in different parts of the country, to transport them to their homes. TMC questioned why the, which emerged during the Corona pandemic, cannot be used to help poor citizens in distress.

Attacking the Center, TMC leader and former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi cited criticism of the move from deputy ruling BJP Subramaniam Swamy, who tweeted on the matter. “It is inhumane to charge fees to poor migrant workers who have been waiting to get home and have no money. Why can't the PM Cares fund be used to rescue them from their plight? Trivedi said, addressing the media along with two other party colleagues at a virtual press conference on Monday.

Never forget it, this is a government that announced a 21-day closure four hours in advance. Read the rail guidelines. They clearly say that the sending State has to collect the money. Basically, it means collecting money from migrant workers. Sad. This is a classic example of non-cooperative federalism. The GOI has a simple theory; When things go well, the Center takes credit, when things get tough, it passes the burden on to the states, said Derek O’Brien, TMC leader in Rajya Sabha, who was also present at the press conference.

Party MP Lok Sabha tweeted: Will I explain GoI what PM CARES is used for? Funding for CSR is intended only for local use diverted from the states to the Center. Meanwhile, desperate to PAY for origin trains and state governments asked to deposit money at the Center. Theater of the absurd!

TMC's Lok Sabha leader and party member Sudip Bandopadhyay lashed out at the governor on Monday, while answering questions about heated exchanges between Raj Bhawan in Kolkata and the prime minister, on the Corona issue. When asked about it, Bandopadhyay said: I have spent (a lot of time) in Parliament and in the state assembly, I have seen many governors in office, but from the way the current governor of Bengal operates, it is better not talking about it as that would give much importance to the subject. This is not the time for that. If the President of India starts questioning the Prime Minister every day, will he consider himself democratic? We want to focus on fighting Corona.

The party also criticized BJP for alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal did not do enough to control the spread of the pandemic. TMC noted that the 20 districts identified by the ministry of union health as the most affected did not include Bengal and therefore there was a discrepancy in what the ruling BJP or IMCT of the union home ministry claimed and what the ministry health considered.