‘Are in big numbers, there will be difficulty’: Union minister on migrants
The Indian government is ready to provide migrant workers with trains, said union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, adding “itni badi sankhya hai kuch toh pareshani hoti hai (They are in such large numbers, there will be some difficulty)”. The minister made the comments at a press conference on Wednesday.
Referring to Congress’ Rahul Gandhi’s meet with migrants, Prasad dismissed it as an attempt at theatrics. Speaking about his meeting with migrant workers, the Congress leader said there is a sense of hopelessness. “Bharosa toot gaya (Have lost faith)” is what Rahul Gandhi said the workers told him.
The Congress will launch a ‘SpeakUp’ campaign on May 28 to help raise the voice of the poor, migrants, small businesses and the middle class people before the central government.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and state governments over the migrants’ plight, saying there have “been lapses”. The bench said the central and state governments should immediately provide adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters “free of costs”.
Media reports, the court said, had been “continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers” walking on-foot and cycles from long distances.
“Not proper for me to make observations on the Supreme Court’s remarks. The state and central governments will respond to the notice. All the governments are doing their best, these are very challenging times,” said the law minister.
Earlier, the Congress had accused the central government and the rail ministry of charging migrants for train tickets in this hour of crisis. Stepping in, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had said her party will bear the cost for the rail travel of all such workers stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Since then the party has attacked the BJP for the same.
“Rahul Gandhi also made false allegations that ticket money is being taken for workers’ tickets in Shramik Special trains. The government has repeatedly told that the fare is not being charged from the labourers, the railway ministry is carrying 85% of the ticket fare and the state governments 15%,” said Prasad.