Maharashtra’s Power Minister Nitin Raut’s move to pay the travel expenses for migrant labourers has given an effective tool to the Congress party to protest against the central government. Taking note of Raut’s initiative, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced that the party will bear the expenses of migrant labourers’ rail transport, which put the Modi government on a backfoot.
When the movement for sending labourers back to their native places began, the big question that arose was who would pay for the transport. The central government was not ready to allow them to travel free of cost. Finally, Raut who is also guardian minister of Nagpur district, took this responsibility personally. He deposited Rs 5 lakh at the Nagpur Divisional Commissioner’s office. This money helped around 1000 migrant labours to travel. The stranded labourers were sent home from Nagpur to Lucknow by Shramik Special train on Sunday. With the help of Raut, Nagpur Congress paid the cost of diesel for 23 private buses to send 628 labourers on May 3 and May 4 to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well as Akola, Yavatmal, Bhandara and Gondia districts in Maharashtra.
Congress to bear the cost of all the labourers
After the directions from Sonia Gandhi, Congress state president Balsaheb Thorat organised a digital meeting of all the Congress ministers. “It was decided in the meeting that Maharashtra Congress will start district-wise helplines for migrant labourers and will gather their information. “We will convey to the district collector and railway official in the districts that Congress will pay the bill of the transport of labourers. We will hand over the necessary funds for them,” said Thorat.