Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday slammed the government over stranded migrants asked to pay for their train ride home amid nationwide coronavirus lockdown and said that the Congress party would pay the train fare for them.
"Indian National Congress has taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost for the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard," Congress President said in a statement.
She further said that this will be Congress' humble contribution in service of our compatriots and to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them.
She also equated the lockdown phase with that of post-partition and said, "Post the partition of 1947, this is the first time India witnessed a tragedy with such a massive human cost as thousands of migrant workers and labourers were forced to walk home several hundred kilometres on foot- without food, without medicines, without money, without transportation, without anything except for the desire to return to their families and loved ones."
The railways will charge state governments for ferrying people stranded due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown in its 'Shramik Special' trains, according to an order issued on Friday. The fare would include cost of sleeper class ticket, superfast charge of Rs 30 and Rs 20 for meals and water per passenger.
After more than a month of suspension of services, the railways on Friday, which is also International Labour Day, announced six "Shramik Special" trains for migrant workers, students and others who were stranded due to the lockdown.