Lucknow: A fresh controversy erupted in Amethi and Raebareli after the announcement made by Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, in which she said the party would pay the train fare of migrant labourers who returned to Amethi and Raebareli from other states during the lockdown period. Migrant labourers are demanding reimbursement of train fare. Migrants also lashed out at the Congress for making a commitment which they have not fulfilled yet. They also shouted slogans against Congress and top leaders of the party.

The controversy began after Congress president Sonia Gandhi's statement a few days ago, when she had announced that the party would pay the train fare of migrant workers, who would be returning to their hometown from the different states amidst the coronavirus outbreak. More than 600 migrant workers who arrived in Amethi and Raebareli in the last few days have demanded that Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi refund their fares.

Both districts of the state were known as Congress strongholds but in the last general election Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lost in Amethi constituency by a big margin. While Sonia Gandhi succeeded in saving a seat, the win margin did shrink for her in Raebareli.

The migrants said they (Sonia and Priyanka) had made promises and should refund the fare, shouting the slogan “Apana vaada bhoole kaangresee (you’ve forgotten your promises Congress)” in both districts.

After news of upset migrant labourers made headlines on TV and spread on social media, Congress started to go into damage control mode. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi sent a message through social media and asked the district administration to provide a list of migrants in order to pay their train fare.

Congress also put out two phone numbers of local leaders for migrant labourers to send their address and photo of the train ticket for refund.