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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Rahul Gandhi’s act of speaking for migrant labourers is drama: Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman also asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to join the efforts of the government in handling the migrants issue and to deal with them more responsibly.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 17, 2020 6:59:32 pm
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. (Screen grab)

A day after Rahul Gandhi held an impromptu hour-long meeting with a group of 20 migrants in Delhi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday called the Congress leader’s act nothing but a “drama”.

Calling Rahul Gandhi a “dramebaaz”, Sitharaman, while announcing the fifth and final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package, said, “Rahul Gandhi’s act of speaking for migrant labourers is drama.”

The Congress has been vocally critical of the government’s handling of the migrant crisis even as hundreds of migrants have been walking or hitchhiking their way for days to native villages.

Sitharaman also asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to join the efforts of the government in handling the migrants issue and to deal with them more responsibly.

“I want to tell the Opposition party that on the issue to migrants we all must work together. We are working with all states on this issue. With folded hands, I ask Sonia Gandhi ji that we must speak and deal with our migrants more responsibly,” Sitharaman said.

On Sunday, Rahul spoke to a group of migrant workers, who are among hundreds on Delhi roads unable to afford train fares and trying to walk back to their home states.

The Congress later alleged that police tried to detain the migrant workers who interacted Rahul Gandhi — a charge denied by the Delhi Police.

As part of the last tranche of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign”, Sitharaman announced raising of the borrowing limit of states, an additional allocation of Rs 40,000 crore for MNGREGA workers and the inclusion of private players in public sectors.

Moreover, in a bid to give relief to companies defaulting on loans due to the Covid-19 stress, the Finance Minister  said no fresh insolvency would be initiated for one year under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Also, coronavirus-related debt would be excluded from definition of default, she said. Minimum threshold to initiative insolvency proceeding has also been raised to Rs 1 crore from Rs 1 lakh to benefit MSMEs.

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