MEA does not discriminate between states: Anurag Shrivastava responds to WB minister's allegation

New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it does not discriminate between states, and the Centre's Vande Bharat mission is for all stranded Indians.

"MEA does not discriminate between states. Government of India's Vande Bharat Mission is for all stranded Indians, including those from West Bengal. Over 3700 of them have registered for repatriation from different parts of the world," Shrivastava wrote on Twitter.

The MEA spokesperson's tweet comes response to questions raised by West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee over India's largest repatriation exercise, alleging discrimination by Centre against the people of West Bengal.

"Is the MEA asking us to believe that there are enough people to come from Georgia to Gujarat but none want to come to Kolkata? Also, there are enough people to come back to Bihar from Kyrgyzstan but not enough to bring back to Bengal? Stop this injustice!" Chatterjee wrote on Twitter.

Shrivastava tagging the tweet by Chatterjee further said: "Will gladly facilitate flights to Kolkata if the state government will confirm arrangements to receive and quarantine. Will also help in return of West Bengal residents through land borders with neighbours. We hope to receive an early response on the matter."

Later, the Bengal minister replied to the MEA spokesperson's tweet, "Bengal will welcome its people from any part of the world with open arms and since Honourable Prime Minister (Modi) is talking about 'vocal for local', why can't we have our poor migrant brothers & sisters reach their homes in these special flights instead of walking barefoot for thousands of km?"

West Bengal government and Centre have been at loggerheads over several issues pertaining to the governance and other policy matters.

India began from May 7 the phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad, due to various lockdown restrictions, under the Vande Bharat Mission. (ANI)