Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday denied having called Shramik Special trains, ferrying stranded migrant labourers back home, “Corona Express” as alleged by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a virtual rally for the state. Banerjee said that insisting it was the people who gave that name to crammed-to-capacity trains.

“More than 11 lakh migrants have returned to Bengal. I never called the migrant special trains ‘Corona Express’,” West Bengal CM told reporters earlier in the day adding that it was common people who gave it that name.

Shah on Tuesday, while addressing a virtual rally for West Bengal, accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief of insulting migrant workers returning homes on Shramik Special trains and asserted that the people of the state will ensure exit of her government in 2021 Assembly elections.

Soon after Home Minister’s virtual ‘Jan Samvad Rally’ addressing the voters in West Bengal, TMC lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying Shah’s speech was all full of rhetoric and no substance.

Shah on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Banerjee-led state government over the alleged culture of political violence that has been continuing across the state ever since the the party stormed to power.

Trinamool Congress leadership, which criticised Shah for addressing a meeting at a time when the state is battling the double whammy of Covid-19 and the devastation caused by cyclone ‘Amphan’, claimed that BJP’s virtual rally has “been a flop show”.

The TMC ran a social media campaign on twitter with hashtag #BengalRejectsAmitShah. “Priorities are clear, while Mamata Banerjee continues to stand by her people and protect them from every danger,” General Secretary Partha Chatterjee said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Shah in his virtual rally attacked the ruling state government for its alleged failure to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the migrant labourers’ crisis.

Earlier, he had addressed two rallies for Bihar and Odisha via video conferencing. The BJP’s West Bengal unit and the central office in New Delhi coordinated the rally which was aired live on social media.

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