The BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government in Karnataka has come under severe criticism for cancelling the special trains that were to take migrant workers home. The decision by the government came after a section of builders met the chief minister and said that labourers would be needed once activities resumed post lockdown.
The Opposition Congress termed the move by the BJP government as bonded labour as it was forcing the migrants to stay in Karnataka.
Ten trains taking migrants to different parts of the country, mostly to northern states, were run this week. But on Tuesday, the state asked the railways to cancel the special trains forcing labourers from Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Odisha to stay put in the state.
The government defended its decision and said that an already substantial number of migrants had left the state and the rest were needed here as construction and other activities were soon going to be reduced.
The government also announced a Rs1600 crore package for those affected by the lockdown. The government announced that registered construction workers will get Rs3000 in addition to the Rs2000 they received earlier. The Congress and several social media users termed the government’s move as an attempt to make the labourers stay put in Karnataka forcefully.