Rahul meets migrant workers walking back home from DelhiUpdated: May 16, 2020 23:53 IST
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday interacted with a group of migrant workers on their way from Ambala in Haryana to Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi near a flyover in Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar before arranging transportation for them. He sat on a footpath with the migrants and interacted with them for over an hour, the Congress said and alleged the Delhi police later detained the workers citing a direction to do so.
The police refuted the claim. “We have not detained any migrant. Rahul Gandhi came and interacted with the migrants. Later, his supporters took the migrants in their vehicles,” said deputy police commissioner (south-east Delhi) R P Meena.
In a video the Congress released, Mahesh Kumar, one of the migrants, said their group of 13 migrants, including a child, was squatting on the footpath when Gandhi met them. “He asked us to speak about our problems. We told him that we do not have enough food and water. We have spent 50 days without much work and have worked for only 4-5 days in between,” he said. Kumar added that Gandhi promised to make arrangements for their return.
The Congress said that the migrant workers worked at a factory in Ambala and were waiting for their dues to be paid. It added that the Congress’s Delhi and Uttar Pradesh units have been asked to facilitate their travel to Jhansi, around 500 km away.
Gandhi has been critical of the government’s handling of the migrant crisis. On Saturday, he tweeted about the latest accident involving migrant workers in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya. “I am hurt by the news of the death of 24 labourers and the injuries to many people in UP’s Auraiya. I express my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and hope the injured get well soon,” he tweeted.
Migrant workers left jobless by the Covid-19 lockdown imposed in late March have continued to walk and cycle back to their homes even as buses have been arranged for them since late April and trains from May 1 onwards.
(With inputs by Karn Pratap Singh)