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Rahul Gandhi launches scathing attack on Modi govt over deaths of migrant workers


New Delhi, Sep 15: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack against the government's response in parliament on Monday about the data of migrants' deaths during coronavirus lockdown.

"Modi government does not know how many migrant workers died or how many people lost their jobs during the lockdown," Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

Rahul Gandhi

"You didn't count so what, nobody died? Yes, but it is unfortunate that there was no impact on the government. The world saw them dying but the Modi government remained clueless," Gandhi added.

The government does not have data regarding the number of migrants who died or were injured during migration to their native places due to the lockdown, Union minister Santosh Gangwar told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

"No such data is available," the Labour Minister said in a written reply.

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    The response was to BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab's question on the "the number of such labourers died/ injured during migration to their native places due to such lockdown, State/ UT-wise".

    A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 to contain spreading of coronavirus infections. There was an exodus of a large number of migrant workers to their native places from different parts of the country during the lockdown. The lockdown restrictions were eased from late May.

    Mahtab also asked whether the government has taken adequate measures to safeguard social, economic, legal and health rights of migrant labourers before implementing lockdown in the country due to COVID-19.

    "India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, resident welfare associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide non-governmental organizations in the nation's fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and country-wide lockdown," the minister said in his reply.

    In order to mitigate the financial crisis of migrant workers and protect them against the economic disruptions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the country-wide lockdown, the central government has taken numerous measures to provide them financial assistance, food packages and other benefits, the minister said.

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