COVID-19: Rahul Gandhi attacks Centre for charging train fare from migrant labourers

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the Central government for charging migrant workers for rail travel during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Citing a media report, Rahul Gandhi said that the Railways is charging migrants for rail tickets at the same time donating money in the PM-CARES Fund.

"On the one hand, the Railways is charging ticket fare from migrant workers stranded in various states of the country, on the other hand, the Ministry of Railways is donating Rs 151 crore in PM-CARES Fund. Just solve this mystery," Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi

On March 29, Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal had said that the ministry will donate Rs 151 crore to PM-CARES fund to help in combating the coronavirus threat.

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi had earlier today said that her party will bear the cost for rail travel of every needy migrant worker and labourer to their respective home towns during the lockdown. 

"Our workers and labourers form the backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the foundation of our nation," she said.

"The Indian National Congress has, therefore, taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost for the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard. This will be the Indian National Congress’ humble contribution in service of our compatriots and to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them”, she added.

When the lockdown was announced on March 25, thousands of migrant workers and daily wage earners were seen walking for hundreds of kilometres to go back to their villages. Many lost their lives during the daunting journeys. 

After the first 40 days of the lockdown, on May Day, the government decided to start operating special trains to move the migrant workers to their home states. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday came up with a notification on this.

On Friday, the government of India operated five trains from Maharashtra, Telangana, Kerala, and Rajasthan to transport more than 7,000 people, including stranded labourers, pilgrims, tourists, and students.

As the government finally announced guidelines for the transport of stranded labourers, there have been several reports about migrants workers being charged for train and bus fares.

 

With inputs from Agency

Image Credit: PTI

 

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