Gujarat Not Accepting 1200 Migrant Workers from Mumbai Despite Congress Paying for Travel: Thorat
New Delhi: Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat lashed out at the Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government on Friday for “not accepting” migrant workers from the state who are stranded in Mumbai for months amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The senior Congress leader tweeted on Friday morning hitting out the BJP-ruled government in the neighbouring state, underlining the latter is not allowing the return of the migrant labourers despite the grand old party sponsoring the travel expenses as per instructions of party chief Sonia Gandhi.
“The issue of migrant workers stranded in the state is getting serious by the day. @INCMaharashtra is ready to pay for the travel expenses of migrants wanting to go back to Gujarat. It is unfortunate that despite this the Gujarat govt is not accepting them (SIC),” Thorat said in his tweet.
The Maharashtra Cabinet Minister added that the Gujarat government has “not allowed 1, 200 Gujarati migrant workers stranded in Mumbai to go their village in Samkhiyali, Kutch.”
However, Thorat also alleged that along with Gujarat, states of Odisha, Karnataka and West Bengal have, too, denied migrant workers from their states to return.
Apart from Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal and Karnataka governments are also not accepting their own citizens stranded in Maharashtra, Thorat said.
The Maharashtra Congress on Thursday said that it has borne the cost of travel of as many as 4,627 migrant workers returning to their states from different parts of Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government sent home more than 70,000 migrants stranded in the state on 65 'Shramik Special' trains in the last seven days, making it the largest movement of workers from any state on the special services being run during the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
India is currently grappling with a severe migrant workers' crisis following the Union government imposition of a nationwide strict lockdown by suspending all public transport and sealing the inter-state borders.
A report released by the Save Life Foundation on Thursday revealed that at least 42 migrant workers died in road accidents while attempting to return home during the coronavirus lockdown.
The report details road crashes that took place since the lockdown was announced on March 24 till May 3. A total of 140 people died in road accidents across India during this period -- and 30% of these deaths were of migrant workers who were walking, or trying to reach their home states by hiding in buses and trucks. The report says eight of the migrant workers died after being hit by trucks and speeding cars.