Does Sonia want faster COVID spread like in Italy: BJP


Team Udayavani, May 4, 2020, 5:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Rebutting the Congress’ criticism, the BJP said on Monday that the railways have subsidised 85 per cent of ticket fare for special trains being run for migrant workers and the state governments have to pay the remaining 15 per cent.

The ruling party also accused the Congress of promoting indiscriminate movement of people which, it said, would lead to “faster spread” of coronavirus infection “just like we saw in Italy”, and asked if this is what Sonia Gandhi wants.

The counter-charge from BJP leaders, including its spokesperson Sambit Patra and information technology department in-charge Amit Malviya, came after Congress president Sonia Gandhi hit out at the central government for making migrants pay for their train fare and asked her party’s state units to pick the tab.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took a swipe at the railways, saying, on one hand, it is seeking ticket fare from people stranded in various states while on the other it is donating Rs 151 crore to the PM-CARES Fund.

Responding to him, Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi ji, I have attached guidelines of MHA which clearly state that ‘No tickets to be sold at any station’. Railways has subsidised 85% & state govt to pay 15%. The state govt can pay for the tickets (Madhya Pradesh’s BJP govt is paying). Ask Cong state govts to follow suit,” Patra tweeted.

The BJP leader further clarified that for each ‘Shramik Express’, special trains being run for migrants to take them back to their native places during the lockdown, about 1,200 tickets to the destination are handed by the railways to the state government concerned.

State governments are supposed to clear the ticket price and hand over the tickets to workers, he said.

Hitting out at Sonia Gandhi, Malviya tweeted, “Congress is obviously upset at how well India has handled Covid. They would have ideally wanted a lot more people to suffer and die. Promoting indiscriminate movement of people would lead to faster spread of infection, just like we saw in Italy. Is this what Sonia Gandhi wants?”

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy claimed that migrant workers returning home will not have to pay money as the rail travel will be free from now onwards.

“Talked to Piyush Goyal office. Govt will pay 85% and State Govt 15%. Migrant labour will go free. Ministry will clarify with an official statement,” he tweeted.

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