KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress on Saturday slammed the Centre over the death of 24 migrant workers and blamed its "botched up lockdown" and "arrogant" approach for the suffering of lakhs of them across the country.
The migrant workers were killed and 36 injured when a trailer rammed into a stationary truck, both carrying passengers, on a highway near Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya district early this morning, police said.
The impact of the collision, the latest in a series of road tragedies involving migrant workers returning to their villages, was so huge that both vehicles overturned and fell into a ditch.
The Centre should have ensured that the migrant workers return home safely but instead, it is busy blaming the state governments, TMC MP Sougata Roy said.
The Centre's sudden decision to announce the lockdown has led to such a mess and every day there are reports of migrants getting killed in accidents or committing suicide, Roy said.
The TMC-led West Bengal dispensation, which has been under fire from the Centre for not doing enough to bring back its migrant workers, blamed the central government's "lack of farsightedness" for the migrant crisis in the country.
Senior party leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee said in a tweet, "The painful loss of lives of #MigrantWorkers forced to take desperate measures to return to their native places is a result of a botched up lockdown led by an arrogant and insensitive Govt that fails even to take cognisance of the existence & suffering of millions.
" Rendered jobless due to the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25, and desperate to get home, migrant workers across the country are undertaking long and arduous journeys to their native places on foot, on bicycles or packed into trucks.
Over the past few days, many have been killed in accidents in different parts of the country.