When the Centre was facing widespread criticism for making the stranded migrant workers pay for their return travel despite suffering unemployment due to the lockdown, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had announced that the party will send them to their native states free of cost. Acting on Sonia Gandhi's announcement, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), in an official statement on Monday, said that till now 27,865 people had been sent to their home states.
Sonia Gandhi on May 4 had said that her party will bear the cost for rail travel of every needy migrant worker and labourer to their respective home towns during the Coronvirus lockdown. "After the migrant labourers were registered at the district level, the Congress paid the cost of the tickets of these people. Till now 27,865 workers have been sent back to their native states," according to an official statement by the MPCC.
"Energy Minister Nitin Raut has paid for four special trains, Minister Dr Vishwajeet Kadam and Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development minister Sunil Kedar paid for two trains to send the migrant workers back to their states. Meanwhile, Relief and Rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar and Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur too paid to send several workers back home," the statement read.
ऊर्जामंत्री नितीन राऊत यांनी 4 विशेष रेल्वे, मंत्री डॉ. विश्वजीत कदम व पशुसंवर्धन मंत्री सुनील केदार यांनी प्रत्येकी 2 विशेष रेल्वेचा खर्च केला तर मदत व पुनर्वसन मंत्री विजय वडेट्टीवार, महिला व बालविकास मंत्री यशोमती ठाकूर यांनीही मोठ्या प्रमाणावर मजुरांच्या प्रवासाचा खर्च उचलला.— Maharashtra Congress (@INCMaharashtra) May 11, 2020
It further read, "As many as 3,567 workers were sent to their states by private vehicles from Satara, Ahmednagar, Pune, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Sangli. The expense for their travel too was borne by Congress. Food, masks and sanitizers were provided to the workers during their journey."
"Apart from this, over 24,000 workers from other states like Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka have reached out to the Congress for help. Arrangements will be made for them and, they will be sent back home soon," it read. Special Shramik trains have been operated from Nagpur to Muzzafarpur, Nagpur-Lucknow, Wardha to Patna, Pune to Lucknow, Nagpur to Darbhanga, Miraj to Gorakhpur, Chandrapur to Patna, Pune to Bhopal, Ahmednagar to Unnao, Nagpur to Ballia.
(With ANI inputs)