On Saturday, armed with fake news, Rahul Gandhi launched an attack against the Modi government over the issue of special Shramik trains and accused the government of earning huge profits from running these trains that were meant to ferry migrant labourers back to their home states amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi shared a Hindi news report with a misleading headline, which read, “Railways makes huge earning through Shramik Trains”, to insinuate that the Modi government had even extracted profit from running these special trains to ferry back the migrants.
The report shared by Rahul Gandhi claimed that the Railways had received revenue of Rs 428 crores by ferrying stranded migrant workers home during the coronavirus lockdown. The report also added that the Indian Railways had ferried nearly 63 lakh migrant workers home since May 1, generating revenue of Rs 428 crore.
“The ‘cloud’ of the disease has arrived, people are in trouble, the anti-poor government is earning by taking benefits – by converting disaster into profit,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
बीमारी के ‘बादल’ छाए हैं, लोग मुसीबत में हैं, बेनिफ़िट ले सकते हैं – आपदा को मुनाफ़े में बदल कर कमा रही है ग़रीब विरोधी सरकार। pic.twitter.com/YSUsxIpSvC— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 25, 2020
Rahul Gandhi, unable to differentiate between revenue and profit, went on to mislead the public by stating that Modi government had earned profits from Shramik train services during a crisis and attempted to paint a picture that the government was insensitive and inhumane.
Rahul Gandhi spreads fake news: Did Railways earn profit from running Shramik trains?
Contrary to the claims of Rahul Gandhi that the Indian Railways earned huge profits by running special Shramik trains, the Railways has spent Rs 2,142 crore on running Shramik Special trains but earned a revenue of just Rs 429 crore. Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet, had spread fake news claiming that the Indian Railways earned a profit of Rs 429 while failing to realise that the amount was ‘revenue earned’ and not profit.
According to the official data, the Railways have incurred a loss of nearly Rs 1,700 crores after it ran Shramik trains to ferry back the stranded migrant labours from various parts of the country.
According to the information received through an RTI application, the Railways has only earned Rs 428 crore till June 29 and ran 4,615 Shramik trains.
The national transporter shared information regarding its expenditure, which shows that it spent Rs 3,400 per passenger the Shramik Special trains, which amounts to Rs 2,142 crore for around 63 lakh migrant workers transported in total. The Railways managed to recover only 15 per cent of the cost of operations from states and the rest 85 per cent was borne by the ministry.
The Gujarat government has alone paid Rs 102 crore to the Railways for ferrying more than 15 lakh stranded migrant workers to their home in 1,027 Shramik Special trains during the coronavirus lockdown. After Gujarat, Maharashtra paid Rs 85 crore to Railways for transporting 12 lakh workers in 844 trains. Tamil Nadu, followed to Western states, paid Rs 34 crore to ferry around four lakh migrant workers to their home states in 271 trains.
However, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a hurry to target the Modi government, seems to have failed to differentiate between ‘revenue’ and ‘profit’ and instead tried to peddle misinformation to the public regarding the Shramik trains. By doing so, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party have scored another self-goal.