Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh and others, who sat on a dharna at Rajghat in New Delhi, demanding that the armed forces be called in to help migrant workers reach their homes, were detained for a few hours on Monday.
Mr Sinha and others called for proper arrangements for moving stranded migrant workers back to their states at the protest.
The former BJP leader, a strong critic of the Narendra Modi government, said civilian authorities, be it from the centre or states, have "failed" migrant workers who have been compelled to walk on roads, with some even dying in the process.
"Our simple demand is that the responsibility be given to the armed forces and paramilitary forces that they should, with all the resources at their command and with whatever civilian resources they can commandeer, send these migrant workers to their homes with dignity," he said.
Mr Sinha had said he would continue with his dharma till his demands are not met.
They were, however, picked up Delhi Police later in the evening and taken to a nearby police station.
Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP only cares about the rich and it has left the poor to fend for themselves.
"The government has no strategy because it has no will to help the migrants. The BJP is an anti-poor government. You can call people from abroad but not help the migrants walking on the streets. The ongoing crisis has proved that," he said.
AAP MLA Dilip Pandey said the government should show some sensitivity towards the migrants.
"The government has capacity to run 20,000 trains daily and ferry 2.3 crore people daily across the country. It should use this capacity to help people," he said.