Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday hit out at the union government, accusing it of creating a man-made calamity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, holding it responsible for the deaths of many migrants.
"What have you to say for a man-made calamity? COVID-19 is a natural calamity... It is there across the world, but because of your (government) economic situation, your polices and because of your mistakes, about 560 people have died -- walking on the streets, in trains, without food and water, who is responsible for this?," Kharge told reporters.
Migrant, organised and unorganised workers are all in distress and similar was the situation of farmers and farm labourers, as their produce did not find a market with consumers lacking purchasing power, he said.
Had the government announced the lockdown with some planning, the migrant workers' crisis would not have arisen, he said.
"It is only after Congress President Sonia Gandhi's intervention that the government arranged for trains for migrant workers... Without any idea or planning they announced the lockdown. When the infections were less, they (government) announced the lockdown. When there is spread and deaths are occurring, they are opening things," he added.
Kharge, a former railway minister, also blamed the Ministry for the "mess" in handling migrant labourers travel and in ensuring they reach their destinations, despite having 13,000 passenger and 9,000 freight trains.
"He (Railway Minister) should take the moral responsibility for the insult caused to labourers by violating their human rights and should resign,"Kharge said.