Even at a time of the coronavirus crisis, many political leaders and parties have been spreading blatant lies and misinformation on social media to score political goals. Taking to Twitter, Congress’ SC department shared an old image of a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh to attack the central government for its alleged inefficiency of handling of the migrant workers issue.
Sharing the image through the official Twitter handle, Dalit Congress wrote that Modi govt should envisage the helplessness to the faces of these people and do something to help them.
Twitter user Ankur Singh, however, was quick to spot the lie. Sharing a screenshot of a news report from 2017, the Twitter user pointed out that this image is of some Rohingya refugees in Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh, making their way to their region in the year 2017.
The International press agency, Pressenza had in an article published on November 8, 2017, titled “Rohingya Refugees at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh”, used this image, to depict the poor condition of the Rohingya refugees who had fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
Vinod Dua uses the same image to attack Modi government
Earlier in the day, popular page ‘Political Kida’ had also taken to Facebook to show how journalist Vinod Dua, like the Congress party had used the same image to berate BJP government. Political Kida added a snippet from one of the episodes of the show hosted by Vinod Dua where he tries to point out the so-called apathy of the BJP government towards the migrant labourers. He alleges that the helpless migrant workers are carrying the aged on their shoulder and heading towards their respective homes as they are not being provided with any facility, and to do this, he too, like the Congress, had used the image of Rohingya refugees coming to Bangladesh from 2017.
Despite clarifications, Congress has been, for a while now, creating unnecessary controversy over who will ultimately foot the bill to ferry stranded migrant labourers back home. In fact, the All India Railway Federation had earlier written a letter to the Congress interim president, Sonia Gandhi requesting her not to play politics over the migrants’ rail fare.
Congress creating needless controversy
On May 4 Congress leaders took to Twitter to claim that since the government is charging money for the railway fare of the stranded migrants going back home on Shramik Special trains, the party will chip in and bear the expenses for the same. This offer to pay for the migrants’ fare came two days after the Railway Ministry had clarified that the state and central governments are facilitating the movement of migrants through Shramik Special trains.
On May 2, 2020, the Ministry of Railways had clarified that no tickets will be sold at the railway station and that the movement of migrants is being arranged by the state governments. The Railways is bearing 85% of the transport costs while the states are paying the remaining 15%.