The Karnataka Congress offered a cheque of Rs 1 crore as transport expenses for migrant workers. The BJP government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, however, said it has decided to send the workers for free.
Thousands of labourers reached Majestic bus terminal in Bengaluru to catch the buses.
"There are some 75,000 labourers stranded in Bengaluru. We have taken a grant of Rs 7 crore from the state labour department. The money is being used to send the workers to different districts across Karnataka," state Transport Minister Laxman Savadi said.
The government reportedly charged between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 from the workers for travel over 400 km. "This happened due to a communication gap," Mr Savadi said.
The Rs 1 crore cheque was issued to the Transport Department by DK Shivakumar, who heads the Congress in Karnataka.
Sources said the government doesn't want to take credit and so it was decided on Monday that the charges for the fare will be paid by the Labour Department.
Though Mr Shivakumar said the cheque was handed over to the managing director of the KSRTC, the Transport Minister said it was never given to the department or to him. Mr Savadi called the Congress's move "drama".
Later, Mr Shivakumar said the KSRTC officer was unavailable when senior Congress leader Priyank Kharge went to give the cheque.