Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has responded to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comments on sending more trains for migrants to Congress-ruled states.
During her announcement today on new policy moves amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Minister had taken a swipe at the Congress after the centre faced opposition attacks over thousands of migrants walking hundreds of kilometres home from the cities.
"Comments today by @NSitharaman were not becoming of Senior Minister. Trains started a month late despite reminders from @INCIndia We need to work together & focus on getting all stranded people home. We have already sent 170 trains with 2 lakh workers & will continue to do so," Amarinder Singh tweeted.
Comments today by @NSitharaman were not becoming of Senior Minister. Trains started a month late despite reminders from @INCIndia. We need to work together & focus on getting all stranded people home. We have already sent 170 trains with 2 lakh workers & will continue to do so.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) May 17, 2020
Ms Sitharaman today derided Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's move to meet migrant workers camping at a flyover in Delhi as "dramabaazi" and said the Congress should "be more responsible" while targeting the centre on migrants in distress because of the coronavirus lockdown.
"Instead of wasting the time of migrants and sitting with them, walk along with them and carry their suitcase. In Congress-ruled states, request for more trains so that more migrants can reach home. They call us dramebaaz. What about yesterday? That is dramabaazi," Ms Sitharaman said at her fifth press conference to share details of economic stimulus for sectors hit by the pandemic and weeks of lockdown.
Rahul Gandhi on Saturday evening went to meet migrant workers camped out near a flyover in Delhi's southeast.
This was hours after the Congress MP urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "reconsider" the government's Rs 20 lakh crore coronavirus package and ensure direct cash transfers to stranded labourers and poor farmers, who are among the worst affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Congress also tweeted a montage on Sunday night showing Ms Sitharaman's media briefing against the backdrop of migrants walking with their children on the road.
The Punjab government has said it will run buses for migrant workers wanting to go home in Uttar Pradesh. The buses will be run for free daily from Jalandhar and take migrants to 10 districts in UP, Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said in a statement.
The districts include Gautam Buddh Nagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Aligarh.