New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Partys (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said on Tuesday that if economic activities are not started, more people would die due to hunger than coronavirus, while also slamming the BJP for the migrant workers crisis across the country.
The AAP leader justified the opening up of economic activities by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwla, saying lockdown cannot continue indefinitely.
“The Delhi government has decided to open up public transports and markets because economic activities should start. I believe that we have to continue social distancing, wear masks and follow the sanitisation protocols for some time now,” Singh told the media.
He said the lockdown cannot continue indefinitely as economic activities will have to start at some point of time.
“If economic activities do not begin, more people will die due to hunger than Covid-19,” he said.
Singh also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying while on one hand the country is witnessing a massive exodus of the poor migrant labourers, on the other hand “we are witnessing a deliberate reluctance of the BJP government to settle the situation by sending these poor people back to their homes”.
He said the whole country is witnessing everyday how the poor migrant workers are walking barefoot for thousands of miles, losing their lives in accidents while women are giving birth to children on the streets.
“My question is does the BJP want these people to die on the streets? We have witnessed that labourers have died in Aurangabad, Muzaffarnagar, Sagar, Barabanki, and on Tuesday nine people died in Bihar due to truck accidents,” he said.
In Delhi, he said, nearly 4 lakh migrant labourers have registered to go back to their homes.
“To send these 4 lakh migrants, we need 350 trains but the BJP government is running only 100 trains across the country which shows their apathy towards solving this issue. The BJP sent luxury flights to bring back people stuck in other countries, but it does not care for the poor people who are walking barefoot. This shows that the BJP is an anti-poor political party,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
He said the country has witnessed violence against these poor people in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
“All these states are run by the BJP. On Tuesday, a senior BJP leader tweeted that the Delhi government will ‘dump’ more labourers at the borders. This is an utterly unfortunate statement. These labourers are not commodities, but they are the people who make our cities,” Singh said.
He said such statements exposed the BJP’s “anti-poor and anti-humanitarian political ideology”. “My question is why the BJP government is not taking the initiative to send these poor people home,” he asked.
Singh said he believed that this is not the time for political blame games, which is “happening in UP over the migrants’ crisis”.
“Right now the biggest issue is the exodus of poor migrant labourers. The only way to solve this issue is by running more trains. Indian Railways can carry 2,30,00,000 people per day. But the BJP government is not at all serious about the issue,” he said.
He added that the Central government has the ultimate power to run trains and if they were willing, they could have solved the issue much earlier.
“The states will arrange stadia or similar centres and ensure their stay. From there the labourers will be taken to the stations where medical screening will take place and then they will board the train and go back home. This is the whole procedure, but the BJP government has no vision to implement this. The BJP government is saying that they will run only 100 trains across the country, which means that the whole process will go on for months and the poor people will keep dying,” Singh said.