Congres supremo Sonia Gandhi made announcement today that the Congress would pay the train ticket to migrants going home in lockdown set up a huge political row, with the government calling it a baseless move that would “mess up the entire system and create chaos”.
“Grand but baseless announcements may help a dejected opposition, but to ensure people get proper help, the government has to ensure systems work with proper processes and full accountability,” top sources said after Sonia Gandhi attacked BJP / NDA government for not giving stranded migrants free train rides home when “100 crores” were spent on just one event in Gujarat during the Trump visit and Rs 151 crores had been contributed by the railways to the PM-Cares fund.
“What the Congress President has said doesn’t change much on the ground, because railways is already paying for 85 per cent of the fares. Instead of the party, it would have been better if she would have instructed her state governments to not indulge in politics and pay their share,” the sources said.
Sonia Gandhi said it was “disturbing” that the centre was charging the migrants for train tickets.
“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 Congress chief said.
The centre, she said, barely gave a four-hour notice of the lockdown, so workers and migrant labourers were stuck.