Congress leader Hardik Patel in an attack aimed at the Centre but causing egregious collateral damage stated that those who 'do not like' India were being ferried back to the country in planes from across the globe while those who contributed in 'building' India were being forced to walk home by foot.
His statements come against the backdrop of India's largest rescue operation-- the Vande Bharat Mission which has successfully brought home 13,000 Indians in its first phase and is looking to bring another 32,000 stranded citizens in its second phase. This mission has not only received international acclaim but NRIs from across the globe have expressed their gratitude to the government for bringing them back to their country. Furthermore, the nature of the attack crosses a boundary few ever do - attacking NRIs and specifically, 'accusing them of not liking India'.
"Those who did not like India are being brought home by planes and those who were busy in building India are walking home on foot. Labor," tweeted Hardik Patel.
जिन्हें भारत पसंद नहीं था उनको हवाई जहाज़ से घर लाये और जो भारत निर्माण में व्यस्त थे वो पैदल घर आये। मज़दूर 😥— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) May 18, 2020
Previously Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi had spoken along similar lines, attacking the Central government by saying that if the government can bring back citizens stranded abroad free, why can't it extend the same courtesy of free rail travel to migrants - this was despite travel aboard Shramik special trains being free for migrants, paid for 85% by the Railways and 15% by concerned state governments.
The Indian railways have so far run 1,300 'Shramik Special' trains since May 1 ferrying over 17 lakh people from various parts of the country to different destinations. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Sunday sought the cooperation of the state governments in running of more 'Shramik Special' trains amid lockdown 4.0.
Meanwhile, in a bid to track the movement of the migrant workers and to facilitate their travel back home the Centre has developed an online database. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order, the database — National Migrant Information System (NMIS) will help in speedy communication between states without creating additional work at the level of the field officers.