Centre ‘Mismanaging’ Trains to Harass Non-BJP States: Jharkhand CM

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren tells The Quint about the difficulties faced by poor states amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Video Editor: Varun Sharma

Poor states are at the mercy of the Centre for financial assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren told The Quint's Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia in an exclusive interview.

He exclaimed that the state governments have to rely on the Centre for every penny and that considerably slows down the process of tackling the pandemic and helping migrant workers.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president is proud of his state machinery for the way it has tackled the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am not surprised by the numbers which might increase. Our problems have increased very recently but the good news is that the death to active cases ratio is very low,” he added.

He said he had been working closely with local authorities to establish more quarantine centres.

“There’s no shortcoming on the ground level. We have worked closely with the local authorities on the ground. Our quarantine centers have 8-10 people, so we can give our full attention to them, since we have increased the number of quarantine centers.”
Hemant Soren, Chief Minister, Jharkhand

Soren’s tackling of the pandemic primarily relies on two key aspects – community protection and maintaining peace in the villages.

Furthermore, the chief minister said he has been working day and night to bring the stranded migrant workers home. In fact, he is “the first person to take the initiative to bring back our migrant workers”.

But Soren also remarked that the Centre has made it increasingly tough for his state to carry out its job.

“The Centre is not working properly. They are helping BJP-ruled states through a backdoor channel and harassing those states which aren’t.”
Hemant Soren, Chief Minister, Jharkhand

“First the state governments co-ordinated with the Centre to arrange for migrant workers to come back. Now the new advisory says that only the Centre will determine and manage the trains,” Soren added.

This has reduced the “frequency of trains drastically” and the “conditions of the trains have worsened.” The Jharkhand CM, however, said he planned to deploy service planes to bring migrant workers back.

“We had an efficient way of functioning before, but now with the trains getting lost, we are facing trouble trying to manage the situation.”
Hemant Soren, Chief Minister, Jharkhand

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