Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday announced that the Congress would pay the train fare for migrants heading home amid 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,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Gandhi launched a scathing attack on 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, ND TV reported.
Calling it “disturbing”, the Congress president said that every state unit of her party would pay for the train travel of “every needy worker and migrant labourer”.
Hours after Sonia Gandhi’s announcement, Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government said it would pay the fare for those returning to the state by special trains.
“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.