Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (July 25) accused the government of making profits through the special Shramik trains during the coronavirus crisis, drawing a sharp response from Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who said only those who “looted” the country can describe subsidy as profit.
Gandhi posted a news report on his Twitter handle that claimed that the Indian Railways made profits by running Shramik trains for transporting migrants during the pandemic, and attacked the Central government over the issue.
“There are clouds of disease and people are in trouble, but one seeks to benefit — this anti-people government is converting a disaster into profits and is earning,” he said in a tweet in Hindi, tagging the news report.
Goyal hit back at the former Congress president, saying the railways spent more money in running Shramik trains than it received from the state governments. “Only those who looted the country can describe subsidy as profit. The railways spent more money in running Shramik trains than it received from state governments,” Goyal tweeted.
देश को लूटने वाले ही सब्सिडी को मुनाफ़ा बता सकते है। रेलवे ने राज्य सरकारों से ली गयी राशि से कहीं अधिक पैसा श्रमिक ट्रेनों को चलाने में लगाया। अब लोग पूछ रहें हैं कि सोनिया जी के टिकट के पैसे देने के वादे का क्या हुआ? https://t.co/cboWaw4LwW
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) July 25, 2020
“People are now asking what happened to Sonia ji’s promise of paying for people’s tickets,” he said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had announced that during the migrant crisis that her party will pay for tickets of Shramik train passengers after reports emerged that the migrants were made to pay for their journey.
According to the official data, the railways spent Rs 2,142 crore on running Shramik Special trains but earned a revenue of just Rs 429 crore.
The data, received through an RTI application filed by activist Ajay Bose, showed that the railways earned Rs 428 crore till June 29, by when most of the 4,615 trains had been run.
Additionally, it earned around Rs 1 crore by running 13 trains in July.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also used the media reports to accuse the government of profiting out of the misery of the poor.
“Profiting out of misery of poor Indians is Modinomics where the rich cronies get loan waivers for lakhs of crores. The approach, attitude and antics of this government are utterly shameful and condemnable,” he said.