Coming as a major embarrassment for Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, who made tall claims of paying for the migrant workers, the Congress-led government in Rajasthan has admitted to charging migrant labourers for the Jaipur-Patna Shramik Special train. According to a Times Now report, the Ashok Gehlot government has admitted of accepting money from migrants workers for their travel back to their native place.
According to multiple reports, while most state governments have paid for the travel of migrant workers from the state exchequer, Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra remain the only three states to have charged the migrant workers for their travel back to their native place.
It is pertinent to note that in two of three states- Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, Congress is in the government. Rajasthan is ruled by the Congress party while Maharashtra is presided over by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government-a coalition of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress party.
Sonia Gandhi blamed centre for levying charges on the migrant workers
Ironically, the Rajasthan government’s admission comes barely a day after Sonia Gandhi had courted controversy by blaming the centre for levying charges on the migrant workers
Based on a fallacious report published in ‘The Hindu’ that said railways is charging extra money from stranded migrants to travel in special trains, Sonia Gandhi had jumped in to declare that her party will be bearing the non-existent cost of the railway tickets of the migrants. Railways had issued a clarification that it is not charging any money from the migrants.
Congress offers to pay for fares which anyway government was paying for
On Monday, Congress leaders took to Twitter to claim that since 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 Sunday, 3rd May, 2020, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to Twitter to clarify Madhya Pradesh State Government will bear their expenses.
However, now that Congress has offered to use its own money instead of tax payers’, Rajasthan Chief Minister has offered to absolve Congress party of the responsibility.
Hours after Congress offered to pay for the railway fares of stranded migrant workers, the Congress government in Rajasthan has stepped in to save the party’s money. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced that the state government, not the party, will pay for the railway fares of migrants.
Ashok Gehlot uses Rajasthan tax payers’ money to save Congress treasury
Taking to Twitter, Gehlot on Monday credited Sonia Gandhi said that “On direction of Sonia Gandhi, we have decided that Rajasthan government will bear expenses of those who are travelling from Rajasthan to other states.”
Sonia Gandhi had actually directed state Congress units, not Congress run governments, to pay for the migrant workers. Hence, Gehlot, in a bid to save the party fund will now use Rajasthan tax payers’ money by bearing the expenses. While many state governments, like Madhya Pradesh, have stepped in to bear the expenses of migrant workers, Congress-led Rajasthan government’s decision had come after the party president directed party funds be used for the same.
Congress caught it its own web of lies
In the entire farce created by the Congress, first, the party falsely accuses Railways of charging migrants workers and offers to bear expenses of those who are travelling from Rajasthan and other Congress-ruled states to other states. Honouring his president’s words, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had confirmed to pay on behalf of the migrant workers. Here, he cleverly plans to save the party fund by devising using Rajasthan taxpayers’ money by bearing the expenses. Eventually, it appears that the migrant workers land up paying for their own travel, an allegation Congress had levied on the central government based on which the entire drama was formulated.