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In 2am tweet, Piyush Goyal seeks trains’ list from Maharashtra. Sena replies

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut took a potshot at Union minister Piyush Goyal and was referring to last week’s incident where hundreds of migrant labourers travelling to their native Uttar Pradesh were instead taken to Rourkela in Odisha.

Updated: May 25, 2020 20:53 IST

By Swapnil Rawal, Hindustan Times Mumbai

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut sprang to the CM Uddhav Thackeray’s defence and took on union minister Piyush Goyal. (HT Photos)

A war of words has broken out between Union Minister for Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal and Shiv Sena member of Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut over an alleged 50% less number of Shramik Special trains being provided daily to ferry stranded migrant workers out of Maharashtra, which has reported the maximum number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) positive cases in the country.

On Sunday, hours after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the rail authorities have managed to provide only 50% of the trains required to ferry stranded migrant workers back to their home states, Goyal tweeted that they could arrange 125 trains on conditions that they don’t run “empty” and also sought a list of passengers.

Earlier, the CM had said that though he had requested the rail authorities to run 80 Shramik Special trains daily, only 40 are operating.

Goyal put out a flurry of tweets in response to Thackeray’s plea and sought various passenger details such as their boarding stations, medical certificates, etc., over the next hour. Later, he again tweeted that the Maharashtra government has been unable to provide the required information even after one and a half hours. He cited that planning 125 trains would take time and the rail authorities would be unable to accede to the state government’s request unless they have full details.



Raut sprang to the CM’s defence and took on Goyal.

“Maharashtra government has submitted a list to the rail authorities. There is only one request to Piyush Goyalji that the trains should reach their destinations. The train going to Gorakhpur should not end up in Odisha,” Raut said.

He took a potshot at Goyal and was referring to last week’s incident where hundreds of migrant labourers travelling to their native Uttar Pradesh were instead taken to Rourkela in Odisha. Later, the rail authorities claimed that it was a planned diversion due to congestion on some routes.

On Monday, too, Goyal kept up the heat on the state government.

“Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2am, I received a list of only 46 trains of which five are to West Bengal and Odisha, which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan. We are notifying only 41 trains for Monday, despite being prepared for 125 !!!,” he tweeted.

Raut replied to Goyal via a tweet. “Piyushji, what list was sought for Nagpur-Udhampur train that left on May 14. Please share what efforts have been made to arrange trains first and then to gather passengers? Now, which list are you seeking? Don’t forget that you represent Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha.”

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