Coronavirus Lockdown: Congress to pay for train tickets of migrant workers, slams Centre for turning a blind eye to their demands

4 May, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Sonia Gandhi National

Coronavirus Lockdown: Congress has decided to pay for the train tickets of migrant workers. Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that post partition in 1947, India has witnessed s...

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday announced that her party has decided to pay for the rail tickets of every needy migrant worker and labourer returning to their respective hometowns. This will be the party’s contribution to the service of compatriots and reasserted that Congress stands shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them.

In a statement issued on Monday morning, the Congress leader said that if the government can arrange free air travel for Indian citizens stranded abroad, spend nearly Rs 100 crore on transport and food for just one public programme in Gujarat, rail ministry can donate Rs 151 crore to PM Cares fund, then why cannot the migrant workers be given a fraction of the same courtesy by arranging free rail travel for them at this hour of acute distress.

She said that India has witnessed such a tragedy with such a massive human cost for the first time after partition in 1947. Migrant workers and labourers were forced to walk back to their respective hometowns on foot without food, medicines, money or transportation just to be with their families and loved ones. Even today, there are lakhs of migrant workers in different parts of the country who wish to return to their hometowns but do not have any money.

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Sonia Gandhi further slammed Centre and the Railway ministry for charging them for rail tickets in an hour of crisis. After multiple demands and mass gatherings by migrant workers in the hope to return to their native places, the Centre on  decided to run special trains to facilitate their travel. In a circular released by the Railway Ministry, local government authorities were asked to collect ticket fare from migrant workers and hand it over to the ministry.

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