Let SC remind govt of its 'raj dharma': Surjewala

Let SC remind govt of its 'raj dharma': Congress spokesperson Surjewala on migrants issue

The top court had issued notices to the Centre, all states and Union Territories and sought their replies on the issue by May 28, when the matter is scheduled to be heard. (Credit: PTI Photo)

The Congress on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to remind the government of its 'raj dharma' by ensuring safe return of migrants to their homes and livelihood to them as it welcomed the court's decision to take up the issue of migrants' woes on its own.

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Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Modi government cannot shirk its constitutional responsibility of ensuring the safe return of migrants to their homes and providing livelihood to them.

"We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of this and to question the government on its accountability," he said.

"Let the Supreme Court remind the government of its constitutional responsibility and of its raj dharma," he also said.

Surjewala said he has moved an intervenor's application on Thursday to ensure that a national plan is framed and implemented for migrant workers and labourers for their return home, for healing their wounds and for protecting their livelihood.

The Congress leader said the Modi government cannot shirk its constitutional responsibility of ensuring that wounds of crores of labourers, migrant workers are healed and that their safe return without any cost is ensured and their livelihood is protected.

Surjewala earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in the matter in which the apex court on its own has taken cognisance of the "unfortunate and miserable" plight of migrant labourers stranded across the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

In his plea he sought that the government set up facilitation centres and facilities at district and village levels based on the information about hardships faced by the migrant labourers.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had Tuesday taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the plight of migrant labourers stranded across the country and had said that they need "succour and help by the concerned governments" with regard to free food and shelter.

The top court had issued notices to the Centre, all states and Union Territories and sought their replies on the issue by May 28, when the matter is scheduled to be heard. 

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