Sonia Gandhi’s announcement today that the Congress would pay the train fare for migrants
heading home amid the lockdown set up a huge political row, with the government accusing the opposition party of making a big show. The Congress president attacked the government for not giving stranded migrants
free train rides home, flagging “100 crores” spent on just one event in Gujarat during the Trump visit and Rs 151 crore contributed by the railways to the PM-Cares fund.
Calling it “disturbing”, the Congress president declared that every state unit of her party would pay for the train travel of “every needy worker and migrant labourer”.
Soon after, Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government said it would pay the fare for those returning to the state by special trains.
Stung by the Congress’s move, official sources said the government was already subsidizing 85 per cent of the train journey and it was up to the states to bear the remaining cost of the ticket.
“When our Government can recognise its responsibility by arranging free air travel for our citizens stranded abroad, when the government can spend nearly Rs. 100 crores on transport and food etc. for just 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 be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress,” Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.
The centre, she said, barely gave a four-hour notice of the lockdown, so workers and migrant labourers were denied the opportunity to return to their homes.
“Post the partition of 1947, this is the first time India witnessed a tragedy with such a massive human cost as thousands of migrant workers and labourers were forced to walk home several hundred kilometres on foot – without food, without medicines, without money, without transportation, without anything except for the desire to return to their families and loved ones,” she wrote.
Read More : https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-lockdown-sonia-gandhi-attacks-government-over-train-fare-for-migrants-says-state-congress-units-shall-bear-travel-cost-of-every-labourer-2222732?fbclid=IwAR2xmNW-Uo716gImaSnn4NXw7g7Nx-BQLYVIF_ku0Ejjq8ngar47-imVaAw