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Mumbai

Updated on: Saturday, May 30, 2020, 02:25 AM IST

War of words between Congress and BJP over railway ticket costs for stranded migrants

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Mumbai: Taking an aggressive stand against BJP, the Congress has demanded an apology from State BJP President Chandrakant Patil on the issue of train fare of Shramik Special trains. Congress also taunted the BJP, demanding the latter’s inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘most lying political party in the world’.

“The BJP’s unfounded claim that the central government is bearing 85 % of train fare to repatriate migrants has been exposed. In a statement to the court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was representing the central government said that the state governments had borne the entire cost of the train tickets. This has exposed the hypocrisy of the BJP. The party’s state president Chandrakant Patil should immediately apologise to the people”, demanded Sachin Sawant, general secretary and spokesperson of State Congress.

“Apart from Patil, other senior leaders of BJP including Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar too had made such false claims. Despite being questioned by the Supreme Court, the Centre was reluctant to show the order copy in the court,” he added. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress had openly challenged BJP state president Patil to show the order paper or apologise to the people.

BJP still firm on claim

The BJP however is still firm about its claim that the central government is bearing 85% of railway travel cost.

“Sawant is making a false claim without study. Depending upon the distance, Railways bears costs worth Rs. 30 to 50 lakhs for each train it runs. This cost is distributed among AC and Sleeper class travellers. The sleeper class has subsidy. The ratio of total cost of ticket and fare being recovered from state governments is that centre is paying 85% and state is paying 15%. The cost of running train is not being discussed in the Supreme Court,” BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar said.

Countering this, Sawant said these subsidies are being given for many years and even before the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, centre government charged Rs. 50 extra on each ticket of Shramik Special train, he alleged.

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Published on: Saturday, May 30, 2020, 02:25 AM IST
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