After Congress offers millions of rupees, Karnataka offers migrants free transportation

BENGALURU: Karnataka decided on Sunday to offer free rides for migrants returning home within the state on KSRTC buses after their decision to charge a fare drew strong criticism and Congress produced two checks of Rs 1 crore each for Say you are willing to collect the workers' travel invoice.

Since the state made the decision Thursday to allow migrant workers to return to their homes, it has faced one shame after another over the exorbitant fee, its reversal, and the lack of planning to implement the plan.

With increasing public anger and political parties seeking to ignite the heat government CM BS Yediyurappa and his deputy had a phone conversation around 7 am on Sunday and decided to make the trip free for thousands of workers arriving in Majestic until Tuesday.

Cong ready to pay for migrant food, travel: DKS

At 10:45 a.m., Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, HK Patil, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Krishna Byregowda, Priyank Kharge, and Saleem Ahmed took over the situation helping the workers. At the bus stop, Congress released photos of two Rs 1 crore checks each issued to the KSRTC Managing Director on May 2 by DK Shivakumar and Dinesh Gundu Rao to purchase bus tickets for migrants.

The Congress claimed victory for the rollback of fare for migrant workers, with Shivakumar saying his party is “ready to pay for their food and travel if the government cannot”.

On the backfoot, the government tried to defend its one-wayfare decision as a deterrent and said if migrants were allowed to travel without paying a fare, then Bengaluru would have lost 60% of its workforce. Savadi told TOI: “By Saturday, the situation was getting out of hand and labourers were landing by the hundred at Majestic bus stand. There was no choice, but to announce a free passage home.”

The BJP government has seven cabinet ministers from Bengaluru and Majestic area comes under S Suresh Kumar’s constituency, but neither the party nor the government representatives were present on the ground to attend to the needs of the migrants, a source said.

“The government is blind, deaf and heartless to migrants’ plight. Not a single minister visited or assisted the people at Majestic. As a responsible opposition, the Congress is ready to pay for their food and travel,” said KPCC president DK Shivakumar.