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Pained by Migrants' Sufferings, Made Arrangements for Their Travel: Amit Shah Amid Criticism

File photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

File photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Shah's remarks came amid criticism of the Modi government over the handling of the migrants issue as thousands of people have been forced to walk for days or take unsafe modes of transport to their native places.

The government was pained by the suffering of migrant workers and tried its best to ensure that they do not face any problem either in commuting or after reaching their respective states, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday and noted that one crore people have been able to return home so far.

Shah's remarks came amid criticism of the Modi government over the handling of the migrants issue as tens of thousands of people have been forced to walk for days or take unsafe modes of transport to their native places during the coronavirus lockdown.

Without naming any leader or political party, Shah claimed that the opposition leaders who had termed the lockdown as "unplanned" have a biased view, and maintained that elaborate arrangements have been made both by the Centre and state governments to check the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are also pained by their sufferings (Un sabko jo takleef hui uska dard hame bhi hai). It doesn't mean no arrangements were made," he told Aaj Tak news channel on the plight of migrant workers.

Shah said over one crore migrants labourers have reached home so far, about 54 lakh through trains and 41 lakh through buses.

He said the government has made all arrangements for the safe travel of labourers.

Shah said the railways provided food to 1.5 crore people and water bottles to 2.25 crore people.

"I don't want to say that nobody faced any problem. But whosoever has faced problems, the prime minister, I and all my party leaders sympathise with them," the home minister said.

To a question on the spike in coronavirus cases particularly in Maharashtra, Shah said all state governments are trying their best to check the pandemic.

"We are fighting this pandemic together. All of us are united against it and we will overcome it soon," he said.

When asked about BJP leader Narayan Rane's demand of imposing the President's rule in Maharashtra, Shah said that it was his individual opinion and not of the party.

To a question on assembly polls in Bihar and West Bengal, he exuded confidence that the BJP will emerge victorious.

"We are in a good condition in Bihar. We are definitely going to win in West Bengal. The BJP is set to form a government there," Shah said.

He said violence has become an "etiquette" in the politics of West Bengal and "it is time for a change" in the state.