New Delhi: Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who was detained earlier this week while staging a protest calling for deployment of the armed forces to transport migrant workers to their home states, on Saturday called on the opposition parties to hit the streets to highlight the condition of the migrant labourers.Also Read - 'PM's Grand Rs 20 Lakh Crore Package a Cruel Joke,' Sonia Gandhi Attacks Centre at Mega Opposition Meet
The former BJP leader also said that there was no use petitioning the government, which, he said was ‘deaf and blind’ to the suffering of the poor. Also Read - Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Kejriwal to Skip Sonia Gandhi's Mega Opposition Meet on Friday: Here's Why
He tweeted today: “Opposition parties should hit the streets instead of petitioning the government which is deaf and blind to the suffering of the poor. Mere statementbazi will not suffice any more.” Also Read - As COVID-19 Cases Cross One Lakh Mark, Sonia Gandhi to Chair Opposition Meet on Friday
His tweet, notably, comes a day after 22 opposition parties met through video conferencing under Congress president Indira Gandhi. While the Congress president, in her note, hit out at the government over the migrant crisis, as well as the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, the parties, as a whole, also put forward a charter of demands to the government.
Lakhs of migrant workers have been badly hit by the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, which has left them without jobs, food, money or shelter. Also, because of the shutdown of public transport as a part of the lockdown, they have been forced to walk hundreds of kilometres home, with several dying along the way.
The Centre responded to this by first allowing states to run special buses, and then special trains to ferry migrants home, but this has not stopped them from trying to make their way back on their own.
It was in this regard that Yashwant Sinha, along with several others, protested at Delhi’s Rajghat on Monday, but was detained by the Delhi Police and later released.