Hyderabad: Congress President Sonia Gandhi announced that her party will bear the cost of the rail travel of all migrant workers after the central government allegedly decided to charge for their journey back home.

“The Indian National Congress has, therefore, taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost of the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant laborer and shall take necessary steps in this regard,” the Congress party said in a statement

Criticizing the central government for giving only four-hour notice to the citizens before COVID-19 lockdown, Congress said the workers are in a vulnerable situation. Calling it a human tragedy “post-partition”, the party maintained that migrant laborers need to be given the means to return home.

Questioning the Central government for not arranging transport free of cost, the party said that it is disturbing that the Central government and the Rail Ministry is charging laborers for train tickets in this hour of crisis.

‘Govt arranging free air travel for those stranded abroad’

The party also lashed out at the central government for arranging free air travel for citizens stranded abroad but denying the same facility to poor migrant laborers in the country. “Why can’t this essential member of our nation’s fabric be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel at this hour of acute distress?” it asked.

The party said the Railways can donate Rs 151 crores to the PM’s corona fund but do not have funds for the cause of migrant workers. Same is the case when the government is ready to spend Rs 100 crore on transport and food for just one public programme in Gujarat.

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