Sonia Gandhi Lashes Out at Central Government Over Migrants Train Fare Hike

Sonia Gandhi said, “Our workers and labourers form the backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the foundation of our nation”

NEW DELHI| Congress Party Chief Sonia Gandhi criticized the Central government over the fare hike of the migrant’s labourers while returning home in the wake of coronavirus lockdown. Stating it’s a Congress Humble contribution to the nation, Sonia Gandhi said Congress party will pay for the cots of their travel.

Sonia Gandhi said, “Our workers and labourers form the backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the foundation of our nation”.

Congress Party President further added, “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.”

Sonia Gandhi lashes out at the central government over the crisis of migrant labourers who are still stranded in different parts of the country, Gandhi said, “But what is the responsibility of our Government? Even today, lakhs of workers and migrant labourers are languishing in different parts of the country and wish to return to their homes and families but there is neither adequate money nor provision for free transport. What is particularly disturbing is that the Central Government and the Rail Ministry are charging them for train tickets in this hour of crisis.”

Gandhi further added, “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. The very thought of their plight is enough to break our hearts as there was also the outpouring of support from fellow Indians for their inspiring resolve”.

Sonia Gandhi questioned about the migrant’s labourer who are stuck miles away from their home states, she said, “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?”

The Indian Railways had issued a set of guidelines for Shramik Special trains to ferry the migrants stranded across the country.

The Indian Railway while starting the service of the Shramik Special Trains and ferry for the migrants had issued guidelines. A provision in the SOP, which says, “local state government shall handover the tickets for these passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and hand over the total amount to Railways.”

The guidelines also stated the Railway should take care of the food, security, health scanning, providing tickets to the stranded will be with the state from which the train is originating. It, however, took the burden of providing one meal to passengers whose journey will be of 12 hours or more.

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