‘They are India’s backbone, everyone’s responsibility’: Priyanka Gandhi on migrant labourers
“The country runs on their blood and sweat. It’s everyone’s responsibility. It’s not the time for politics,” Gandhi said in her online address on Wednesday.Updated: May 20, 2020 16:43 IST
Congress leader and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday spoke on the crisis involving migrant labourers amid the coronavirus lockdown in the country and said that the time is not to indulge in politics.
Gandhi said that these migrant labourers, who are the backbone of the country, have been bearing great pain during the Covid-19 crisis, walking for hundreds of kilometres to reach their native places.
“We’ll have to understand our responsibilities. They (migrant labourers walking to return to their native states) aren’t just Indians but India’s backbone. The country runs on their blood and sweat. It’s everyone’s responsibility. It’s not the time for politics,” she said in her online address.
Gandhi attacked the Uttar Pradesh government and said that at 4 pm it will be 24 hours since the buses were made available by the Congress party for migrant labourers.
“If you want to use it, do it. Give us permission. If you want to use BJP party flags and stickers on buses then do it. If you want to say that you made those buses available, do it. But let the buses run,” she said.
Gandhi said that right after the lockdown was announced in the country, Congress party in Uttar Pradesh set up volunteer groups in every district and launched helplines. So far, the party has reached out to over 60 lakh people amid the coronavirus crisis.
“We have been providing food, ration to the needy with the help of these groups in the state,” Gandhi said.
“A task force was created to help those on the highways amid the lockdown. Many initiatives like these were taken from our side,” she said.
Gandhi said that the party had proposed to run buses from Ghaziabad, Noida to ferry migrant labourers from Delhi/NCR to their native places in Uttar Pradesh.
“On May 17, 500 buses were there at the Ghaziabad border. If they were allowed to run, at least 20,000 migrant labourers could have reached home,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi urged the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government to grant necessary permits and let the buses run for the benefit of the migrant labourers.
“We must get over this political tussle and work for the benefit of these migrants. We just want to help with a positive intent,” Gandhi said.