NCP MP Supriya Sule on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accusing the opposition of inciting migrants to flee from Mumbai during the COVID-19 lockdown, and claimed more trains were operated from Gujarat than Maharashtra for migrant workers during the pandemic-related curbs.
PM Modi said in the Lok Sabha on Monday that the Congress “crossed all limits” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and accused the party of instigating and scaring innocent labourers into fleeing to their native states from Mumbai.
He was replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
The Congress currently shares power with the Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday, Ms Sule said it is painful to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeting Maharashtra, that significantly contributed to his party winning 18 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections.
“The Indian Railways’ data reveals that 1,033 trains for migrant workers were run from Gujarat, while 817 Shramik trains were operated from Maharashtra,” she claimed.
Ms Sule also referred to a 2020 social media post of the then railway minister Piyush Goyal, who had targeted Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the issue of trains for migrant workers.
“Goyal in his Twitter post on May 24, 2020 said that 125 Shramik Special trains were ready to be allotted to Maharashtra for the migrant workers to return home. He had asked the state to give a detailed list of migrant workers within an hour to the Railways,” the Lok Sabha member pointed out.
Ms Sule further said BJP MP Harish Dwivedi last week proudly stated in his speech in the Lok Sabha that the Union government had operated trains for migrant workers to reach their homes safely.
“Then why PM Modi is selectively talking about Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in his speech?” she asked.
“It was painful for me to see PM Modi insulting Maharashtra when we were expecting him to speak on issues like China, unemployment. He is the prime minister of India and not of a party,” she said.