Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday accused Railways Minister Piyush Goyal of doing politics over the issue of running trains for migrants and asked him to fight the coronavirus pandemic together with the states.
Goyal had appealed to states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to approve more trains.
"Piyush Goyal ji first said that Chhattisgarh is not giving permission for trains. We responded to him that the state has given all approvals. There is no approval pending with Chhattisgarh (for running of trains). He has not responded to it yet, Baghel said.
The chief minister said the railways minister is now giving challenges on the issue of pending permissions for trains by the state.
Goyal had reportedly challenged Baghel to prove that the Centre did not approve the trains after receiving request from both the sending and receiving states.
"It is my request to Goyal ji that this is not the time for doing politics or giving challenges. It is time to fight the coronavirus pandemic together. It is time for helping migrant workers," Baghel told PTI on phone from state capital Raipur.
The CM said that Chhattisgarh has also sought permission from Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka among others for running the trains, which is still pending.
Both the sending and receiving states need to give permission for the running of trains.
"What do we do now? And, you are giving us challenges," the chief minister said.
Baghel said the state government has paid over Rs 1.16 crore for ferrying migrant workers working in other states to Chhattisgarh.