Karnataka Congress campaign rakes up migrant workers issue | India News

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BENGALURU: The Congress in Karnataka on Thursday came down heavily on the B S Yediyurappa government in the state for its alleged ‘failure’ to address grievances of the migrant labourers during the Covid-19 lockdown, as the party launched the ‘Speak Up India’ nationwide online campaign against the ‘cruelty of the BJP government’ on Thursday.
The BJP too launched a counter campaign highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “relentless battle against Covid-19.”
Responding to the party high command’s call, the state Congress leaders took part in the campaign to rally behind those affected by the lockdown and posted their messages and videos on social media platforms.
Speaking to reporters, KPCC president D K Shivakumar alleged there was a conspiracy against the migrant labourers, who are the nation builders, to hold them back in the state instead of sending them home with dignity.
“It’s a conspiracy (against migrant labourers). We can’t keep them like bonded labourers, We have not paid any money to them. They are poor people. We should allow them to go with confidence,” Shivakumar said.
He was referring to the state government’s decision in the first week of May to cancel Shramik Special trains after builders met chief minister B S Yediyurappa. The government resumed the train services with 48 hours of suspending it after it came under sharp criticism.
The KPCC chief also claimed not even 10 per cent of the Rs seven lakh worth grocery kits meant for migrant workers reached them.
He added that the migrant workers had to pay Rs 1,000 as travel expenses.
In his video message, Shivakumar said the present situation calls for saving the country as it was in “deep crisis” due to the aftermath of lockdown.
“It is time to save our country. The country is in a very deep crisis,” he said.
The party started the campaign with a demand that the Centre should transfer Rs 10,000 immediately to the poor families. It also demanded that the Centre should provide financial helps and not loans to small businesses so that the middle class people have money.
The second demand is to make transport available to all migrant workers without charge to ensure their safe return and providing employment opportunity through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Former state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted, “Karnataka’s relief package of Rs 1,610 cr is only in paper. Nobody has received any money.”
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, former union minister K H Muniyappa, Congress working president Eshwar Khandre and various others joined the “Speak Up India” campaign.
As a counter campaign, the BJP took to Twitter to highlight the achievements of the centre in the fight against corona with a hashtag #IndiaUnitedAgainstCovid”.
“PM @narendramodi Govt has waged a relentless battle against #COVID19: Timely lockdown, PPE & Testing Kits manufactured in record time, Foodgrains supplied to Poor, Shramik Special Trains for the Migrant Workers, 21 lakh crore Stimulus package,” the Karantaka BJP tweeted.

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