Coronavirus Maharashtra: Priyanka Gandhi accuses center of politicising migrant issue

Coronavirus Maharashtra: Priyanka Gandhi accuses center of politicising migrant issue

New Delhi: Accusing the government of doing politics during the coronavirus crisis, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday raised the plight of migrant workers, citing the example of a toddler trying to wake her dead mother at a railway station.

"The country is pained to see such visuals," she said and asked the government to provide help to the needy.

She also accused the BJP of trying to "destabilize" the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, comprising the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress in the state, instead of helping it in its fight against Covid-19.

In a video conference with Congress workers and leaders under the 'Speakup' campaign, the Congress leader spoke about the poor, migrants, small businesses and the middle class.

"We are doing this to make the government understand the demands of the people," said Priyanka Gandhi, who is also party in-charge of eatsern Uttar Pradesh.

She said the government should immediately deposit Rs 10,000 into the bank accounts of the needy, provide Rs 7,500 for six months to the needy families and provide jobs to those who have returned to their homes under MGNREGA for 200 days instead of 100 days.

"The government should also provide the MSMEs a financial package so that they are not pushed into debt," she said.

Slamming the BJP-led Central and UP government, she said, "I urge the BJP leaders to avoid doing politics. It is time to stand united by sidelining the differences and help the people."

On Uttar Pradesh government rejecting the Congress' offer of providing 1,000 buses to transport the stranded migrant workers, she said, "The 12,000 buses of UP Roadways are running only on paper."

The Congress leader had offered to provide 1,000 buses to transport the migrant workers in UP. However, the state government had rejected the offer after three days of standoff at the state borders.

Priyanka accused the BJP of trying to destabilize the Maharashtra government at a time the state is reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases. "Instead of providing help to the Maharashtra government, you (BJP) people are working against it to destabilize it," she said.

Reminding the BJP, that all the political parties are indebted to people of the country even in their victories and in defeat. "With their humility people have supported everyone of us and today the people of the country are pained," she said.

Highlighting the plight of migrant workers travelling back to their homes, Priyanka Gandhi said, "We have seen the visuals of a son pulling a cart carrying his parents, of a daughter taking her father 1,200 km away on a bicycle and of many people dying in Shramik Specials.

"These visuals -- a child dying in the lap of his father and another child trying to wake up his dead mother on a railway platform -- can make anyone cry. But you (BJP leaders) are silent and not helping the people."

The demands raised by her are not political, she said.

The visuals of a toddler trying to wake her dead mother on a railway platform went viral on Wednesday. The woman had got down from the Ahmedabad-Katihar Shramik Special train at Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar on Monday. According to railway officials, the woman was had prior ailment.

"Leave politics as the people who have supported you must get the support back from you in this tough time," said Priyanka.

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