The Congress on Monday said it was shameful that BJP-ruled states were amending labour laws under the cover of a pandemic to lure foreign investors and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not allow this.
Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil appealed to the Central government to deny permission to states amending labour laws "to strip workers of their basic rights".
He said labour laws have been suspended by the BJP governments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
"This is yet another shocking but unsurprising blow to workers and labourers by BJP governments.
"If the prime minister has little concern for workers and labourers, then he should himself tell these states to not go ahead with amending labour laws and not allow them in doing so. We would expect the prime minister to intervene today itself," he told reporters through video at a press conference.
He said it was "shocking and heart-breaking" that at a time when the entire nation is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, which has disproportionately ravaged and devastated the lives of the poor, the Modi government has taken this as an opportunity to deprive them of their rights.
"This is shameful and once again highlights the true nature and priorities of this 'Suit-Boot ki Sarkar'," he said.
Gohil said as these laws are in the Concurrent List, no such suspension can take place without the explicit approval of the Central government.
"We, therefore, ask the Modi government to deny any permission that strip workers of their basic rights and have the potential of diminishing their livelihood.
"We also ask that trade unions be consulted before such an adverse step is taken," he said.