The Congress on Tuesday demanded that the Centre should provide financial assistance to migrant workers. Party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi’s comments came as thousands of migrant workers started leaving Delhi within hours of the announcement of a six-day lockdown in the city.
“Migrant workers are returning to their homes once again,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. “In this situation, it is the responsibility of the Centre to transfer funds into their accounts. But will a government which blames people for spreading coronavirus take such a decision to help people.”
Meanwhile, tweeting photos of migrant workers in stations and bus terminals, Priyanka Gandhi said that while it was crucial to impose a lockdown, the government had yet again left those affected by it to fend for themselves.
“We demand that the poor people, labourers and stall owners be given financial assistance,” she wrote.
On Monday morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown in Delhi. The restrictions, which came into effect on Monday night, will stay in place till 5 am on April 26. Soon after, migrant workers started to gather at railway stations and bus terminals to catch a ride back home.
On Monday, the Delhi High Court had also said that the Centre and Aam Aadmi Party government had “miserably failed” to think about migrant workers during last year’s lockdown.
In a separate tweet, Rahul Gandhi also criticised the Centre’s strategy for roll out of the third phase of vaccination process under which all citizens above the age of 18 will be eligible for the shot from May 1. Gandhi pointed out that vaccines for those aged 18 to 45 were not free of cost and that middlemen were involved in the procurement process without implementing any price control measures.
On Monday, besides allowing vaccination for all adults, the government also said that state governments, private hospitals and industrial establishments would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers.