Railways gave Rs 151 crore in PM Cares, now asking poor labourers to pay up: Rahul Gandhi

Railways gave Rs 151 crore in PM Cares, now asking poor labourers to pay up: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has hit out at the Modi government’s decision to ask states to collect Railway ticket fare from distressed migrant labourers who are wanting to go home.

In a tweet in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said on Monday, “On one hand the Railways is extorting ticket fare from labourers stranded in different states, on the other hand the Rail Ministry is depositing donations of Rs 151 crore in PM Cares fund.”

“Please solve this puzzle,” Rahul Gandhi said.

The Centre has announced Shramik Special trains to move the large numbers of stranded migrant population to their home states. But the Indian Railways issued a set of guidelines for the state governments and said the administrations must collect ticket fare from the migrants travelling in these trains.

The Railways has also said that these trains will only ply if they have 90 per cent occupancy.

The move invited severe criticism from the opposition as well as civil society who slammed the Modi government for demanding money from the distressed migrant workers who are out of jobs.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has said Congress state units will incur the travel expenses of the migrant labourers who are unable to pay for their ticket fare.

Sonia Gandhi in a statement on Monday that this was the party's decision and said this would be the Congress' humble contribution in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with these workers.

Sonia Gandhi also accused the Modi government and the Railways of completely ignoring the demands made by the Congress for ensuring the safe and free travel of migrant workers and labourers to their homes.