Bihar minister clashes with Delhi govt over rail fare of migrant workers
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‘Lying in broad daylight’: Bihar minister clashes with Delhi govt over rail fare of migrant workers

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Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said he saw a tweet by a Delhi minister saying that the Kejriwal government will pay for the tickets of 1,200 migrants who are travelling from Delhi to Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

While the operation to repatriate migrant workers to their native places amid the coronavirus lockdown continues, Bihar’s Minister of Water Resources Department and JD(U) national general secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha locked horns with the Delhi government on the matter.

Jha said that he saw a tweet by a Delhi minister saying that the Kejriwal government will be paying for the rail tickets of 1,200 migrants who are travelling from Delhi to Muzaffarpur.

However, Jha said he has a copy of a letter sent by the Delhi government asking for the reimbursement from the Bihar government.

Jha took to Twitter on Saturday morning and accused Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government minister Gopal Rai of spreading “lies and misunderstandings through tweets”. 

Aam Aadmi Party’s Gopal Rai, who serves as the minister of environment, development, labour & employment in Delhi cabinet, tweeted a video of 1,200 migrant labourers aboard a train departing from Delhi to Muzaffarpur on Friday. Rai, in the tweet, stated that the fare of rail tickets for all 1200 people on board will be borne by the Kejriwal government.

In a series of tweets, Rai was slammed by Jha on Friday.

“Honorable chief minister @NitishKumar had already made it clear that we will give additional Rs 500 to the workers in addition to the amount of the fare, so why are the Delhi government ministers lying in broad daylight?” Jha tweeted. 

Delhi Health Minister and AAP leader Satyendar Jain reacted to the row saying one shouldn’t indulge in politics in such matters.

“It is not fair to take money from them (migrant labourers), they have been staying in shelter homes for the last two months. From where will they get money to pay for tickets, so the Delhi Govt paid for it. One shouldn’t do politics over it,” Jain said.

AAP official spokesperson Sanjay Singh also reacted to the row. Taking to Twitter, Singh said the Delhi government had decided that it will not let the migrants pay, hence had already paid the railways by cheque. “Who are you trying to fool Nitish Kumar and BJP?” Singh tweeted.