Raj Thackeray Blames Migrants For Stampede, Warns Of Disrupting Bullet Train Construction

An advertisement released by Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant. Firstpost

A day after BJP ally Shiv Sena slammed the centre over stampede deaths in Mumbai, Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned PM Modi's pet bullet train project and said the government should instead focus on railway safety.

Thackeray at his residence in Dadar said that stampedes like this will continue till hordes of migrants keep pouring into the city.

The MNS leader, who has in the past stoked controversies with his anti-migrant rhetoric, said, "There has been a collapse of infrastructure facilities due to the migrant influx from other regions".

Bursting out at the central leadership, the MNS chief said, "While people are struggling to survive in the cities, Modi is asking them to do yoga and campaign for Swachh Bharat. He is boasting about the bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai", he said.

The MNS chief told the media, "Until present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for the bullet train in Mumbai". The bullet train project, linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is not for ordinary people but an "ego trip for the high and mighty", he alleged. "They (Railways) say it happened due to rains".

The former finance minister's comments come a day after a stampede on a footbridge connecting Mumbai's suburban railway stations of Parel and Elphinstone claimed 23 lives. On the other hand, hundreds of tweets were also directed towards the Railway Ministry in the past 4 years raising concerns over the same.

"A list of issues related to local trains in Mumbai will be given to the Railways on 5 October. Better than this Piyush, we get tasty Piyush (milk drink) at our Aaswad hotel", Raj Thackeray. After the deadly stampede on Friday, there have been sharp reactions from across the public and political spectrum on priority being accorded to the expensive Bullet Train project vis-a-vis providing basic amenities to Mumbai's daily eight million plus railway commuters. He exclaimed that "what you call the famed spirit of Mumbai which overcomes such tragedies, is actually hopelessness in face of such calamities".



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