Coronavirus | Congress launches helpline for Uttar Pradesh migrant workers

Government needs to be compassionate, says Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Updated - June 11, 2020 03:14 pm IST

Published - May 07, 2020 07:48 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. File

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. File

The Congress on Thursday launched a helpline to help the stranded migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh even as the political slugfest continued over charging train fares from the migrant workers who are being ferried by Shramik Specials .

In a series of tweets, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is party in charge of U.P., said the government needed to be ‘compassionate’.

Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants

“The labourers were brought from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh. Money was also collected. Those going to Agra and Bareilly were taken to Lucknow and Gorakhpur. Today is Buddha Purnima. The voice of the Buddha was the voice of compassion. There should be compassionate treatment of migrant workers and they should be supported - this should be our effort. It is not enough to repeat the voice of God. The government will have to execute it,” she said.

Though she didn’t name anyone, her tweet seemed to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who earlier in the day had spoken about abiding by Lord Buddha’s teachings and compassion during these difficult times.

Migrant workers | Row over sharing of train fares

The party also launched a ‘UP mitra’ (friend) helpline [73999 01414] to assist stranded workers from the State in other States as well as those who are from other States who are currently stuck in the State.

“We have asked the District Magistrates of Rae Bareli and Amethi to provide us with the list of people who have come from other States. So that we can provide them with the money for the train tickets,” Ms Vadra said in another tweet while sharing another set of helpline numbers specific to the two areas.

Sonia’s directive

The helpline for migrants comes just days after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asked the State units to pay for the train fares of the migrants who want to return to their native places using the special trains.

The railways, however, contest the Congress claim. They said that 85% of the cost of the train travel was being borne by the Centre and the remaining 15 by the State government.

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