Congress seeks Patil's apology over train fare claim

Congress seeks Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil's apology over train fare claim

The Maharashtra Congress on Friday said state BJP president Chandrakant Patil's claim that 85 per cent of the train fare of migrant workers was being borne by the Centre has been found to be hollow and he should apologise.

State Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant claimed the central government has told the Supreme Court that travel bill of stranded migrant workers, who are being ferried to their home states in ShramikSpecial trains, is being paid by states.

Sawant demanded an apology from Patil for claiming that 85 per cent of the rail fare for transporting migrant workers was being borne by the Centre.

"When the state government was bearing the expenses of the trains, BJP leaders were misleading people on the issue. Patil had claimed 85 per cent of the train fare was being provided by the Centre, while states were giving the remaining 15 per cent.

"Apart from Patil, Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Nirmala Sitharaman had also made similar claims," Sawant alleged.

He said Patil should produce document of the Centre's decision that it will reimburse 85 per cent of the train fare or apologise to people.

Sawant claimed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court on Thursday that transport cost of ferrying migrants in trains is being borne by states.

The Congress spokesman said the BJP was deliberately trying to malign state governments run by opposition parties on the issue of migrants.

"When the state (Maharashtra) government was demanding 80 trains, the Railways was providing only 40. When this was highlighted by the MVA, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal sanctioned 146 trains in one night.

"It was not possible to plan time table of so many trains in one night. Hence, many trains had to be cancelled," Sawant said. 

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