New Delhi: Hours after Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi made an announcement that Congress will pay for train rides of migrants, the central government attacked the party head saying they don’t want “villages becoming Italy”. Also Read - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Counting on Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford to Boost Manchester United's Season Run on Premier League Return
“Grand but baseless announcements may help a dejected opposition, but to ensure people get proper help, the government has to ensure systems work with proper processes and full accountability,” said a top official of the Centre, as quoted by NDTV. Also Read - Richa Chadha Opens up on Wedding Preparations With Ali Fazal, Says 'Will Take Call Only When Normalcy Returns'
The Centre asserted that the Railways were already incurring 85 per cent of the total train fare. “It would have been better if she would have instructed her state governments to not indulge in politics and pay their share,” the top official told NDTV. Also Read - 'Will Defeat Coronavirus Under CM Thackeray's Leadership': Maharashtra Minister Raut Slams Centre, BJP | Watch
Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi announced the party deciion saying this would be the Congress’ humble contribution in standing shoulder to shoulder with these workers, who are the backbone of the country’s economy and have contributed to the nation’s development.
Sonia had also asserted that the Centre barely gave a four-hour notice of the lockdown, so workers and migrant labourers were denied the opportunity to return to their homes.
The address was made after a huge controversy erupted as the Indian Railways was allegedly charging migrants for tickets to go home. However, the Railways eventually clarified that it is charging only standard fare from the state governments which is just 15 per cent of the total cost incurred by the Railways Ministry.
Notably, after over a month of lockdown, the railways decided to run the Shramik Special trains to transport the students, labourers, pilgrims and tourists across the country. The first Shramik Special train with 1,200 passengers started on May 1 from Telangana to Jharkhand almost 40 days after the passenger, mail and express trains services were suspended.