New Delhi, May 17 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday asked the Congress not to politicise the migrants' issue and urged the grand old party to work in tandem to help the stranded labourers. Addressing a press conference to unveil the fifth tranche of measures as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, Ms Sitharaman appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, with 'folded hands', to speak about migrant workers 'more responsibly.'
Responding to a question at the press meet about the Congress criticism of the government ignoring the plight of migrant workers who were still seen walking in large numbers to reach their home states, FM Sitharaman said, 'I want to tell the opposition party that on the issue to migrants, we all must work together. We are working with all states on this issue. Why politicise the issue of migrants? ' 'With folded hands, I ask Sonia Gandhi Ji that we must speak and deal with our migrants more responsibly,' she said. The comments by Ms Sitharaman come amid the severe criticism of the BJP-led Centre from the opposition, mainly the Congress, over the ongoing migrant crisis in the country.
In their desperation to reach home, migrants have been walking on foot or hitchhiking in trucks, autos, tempos etc. Some have also been trying to reach their homes on cycles. In recent days, there have been a number of accidents in which migrant workers have lost their lives. This is despite special buses and trains being run to ferry them home. The government was also recently accused by the Congress of charging migrants for their journey back home on trains; the party also directed all its state units to pay for migrants' fare. (UNI)