Sonia Gandhi, chief of Congress took a blistering attack on the central government for charging migrant labourers to return home in train and bus, as they were stuck at different places due to coronavirus pandemic and there were no public services because of lockdown in India.
Sonia Gandhi said, “our workers and labourers form a backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the inspiration of our nation.”
She also said, “The Indian National Congress has, therefore, taken a choice that each Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the value for the rail travel of each needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard. This will be The Indian National Congress’ humble contribution in the commission of our compatriots and to face shoulder to jostle solidarity with them.”
She attacked the central government by saying, “But what is the responsibility of our Government? Even today, lakhs of workers and migrant labourers are languishing in several parts of the country and need to return to their homes and families but there’s neither adequate money nor provision for free transport. What is particularly disturbing is that the Central Government and therefore the Rail Ministry are charging them for train tickets during this hour of crisis.”
She further questioned the government on this difficult time for migrants travelling back to their home, she said “When our Government can recognise its responsibility by arranging free air travel for our citizens stranded abroad when the govt can spend nearly Rs. 100 crores on transport and food etc. for only one public programme in Gujarat, when the Rail Ministry has the largesse to donate Rs. 151 Crores to the PM’s Corona fund, then why can’t these essential members of our nation’s fabric tend a fraction of an equivalent courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress?”
The Indian Railways has launched a guideline for Sharmik Special trains for migrants stuck at different place of the country.