Congress to hold march to highlight migrant workers’ plight

New Delhi: In a bid to highlight the plight of the migrant labourers, who are now returning back to their homes following demonetisation, the Congress on Sunday said that it will hold a march on December 24.

“Congress will hold a ‘Palayan Rokho March’ from Jantar Mantar to Parliament House on December 24 to highlight the plight of the migrant labour force due to faulty implementation of demonetisation,” the party’s Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken told reporters here.

“The 48.63 lakh unorganised or informal workforce in Delhi consists of first-generation migrant labour and after the faulty implementation of demonetisation, reverse migration has begun in Delhi, and lakhs of labour have already returned to their homes.

“About 10,000 to 15,000 labourers are returning to their homes from Delhi every day, which is stalling development works in Delhi,” he said.

The Congress leader emphasised that labour in the unorganised or informal sector is the real lifeline of Delhi, and who sustains and keeps the city going.

“They are the providers of affordable services and labour,” he added.

Maken said he had written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 9, demanding he to take steps to stop the reverse migration of the informal work force and that unemployment allowance be given to such labourers, but to no avail.

Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, he said: “I have not received any reply from the Chief Minister, nor has the Delhi government taken any steps to implement my suggestion that Rs 5,000 be given to these workforce as monthly unemployment allowance (nearly 50 per cent of the minimum wages).”

Also hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Maken said that whenever it comes to power, migrants have to suffer many difficulties.

He recalled Union Ministers Jagmohan and Ananth Kumar, part of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, had in 2002 “given orders for the demolition of unauthorised colonies, and factories were removed from Delhi”.

“A large number of migrant workforce which used to work in these sectors, were the worst affected due to the BJP ministers’ actions.”