Issue of Migrant Labourers Must be Addressed First: Rahul

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said migrants issue should be addressed as first priority. — IANS file photo

Maharashtra also urged the Centre to start trains from Mumbai and Pune with advance planning for lakhs of stranded migrants in the state

NEW DELHI — The Congress working committee which met on Thursday deliberated on the issue of migrant labourers who are stuck at different places. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said it should be addressed as first “priority” and the “economic activity” should also start in green zones.

Rahul Gandhi in the CWC meet said, “Issue of migrant workers needs to be addressed on priority basis.”

He said economic activity should start in green zones.

“Lockdown is a mere pause button. As a Nation, we need to think of a transition from one lockdown to another only in disease hotspots and commencement of activities in green zones,” Rahul said.

Congress General secretary Priyanka Gandhi also raised the issue of migrants. She said, “as times pass by, we need to permit migrant workers to return home after due testing and precautions.”

“Compassion is the key to fight Covid-19 and not hostility towards the victim of Corona,” she added.

Earlier, Sonia Gandhi said that unemployment is likely to increase further as economic activity remains at a standstill. It is imperative to provide at least Rs 7,500 to each family to tide over this crisis as migrant labourers are still stranded, jobless and desperate to return home.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra urged the Centre second time in three days to start trains from Mumbai and Pune with advance planning for lakhs of stranded migrants in the state, after the lockdown is lifted.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goytal, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that after the lockdown ends on May 3, thousands of migrants from other states will make a beeline to catch trains back home.

“As Maharashtra is a leading industrial state and having highest construction activities, a large number of informal labourers particularly migrated from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other northern states are working in these sectors,” Pawar informed Goyal.

Owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, around 650,000 migrants are living in camps in Maharashtra where the state is providing them with daily food and health services to them.



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