Report By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated May 29, 2020
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta labelled the central government’s critics as “prophets of doom”, after the Supreme Court rapped the center for the plight of migrant workers amid the COVID-19 lockdown. He said the prophets of doom have not shown any courtesy to the nation during the pandemic.
“These armchair intellectuals and so-called public spirited people have done nothing to contribute.” Mehta told the Supreme Court.
Thousands of migrant workers throughout the country have been not been able to return to their hometowns and villages after the government imposed a strict nationwide lockdown on March 25. Without food and money, the migrant workers began to walk hundreds of thousands of kilometers for their homes. Scores of migrants have died due to road accidents, starvation or from police beatings. Just this month, the center in partnership with state governments allowed the operation of special buses and trains to transport the migrants to their respective states.
“State governments and ministers are working overnight,” Mehta said. “But the government’s critics don’t even have the patriotism to acknowledge that.” The top court, on Thursday, ordered the center not to charge the migrant workers for bus and train fares. It said the government should ensure that food and water are provided to them.
The Solicitor General argued that fake news was responsible for the exodus of migrant workers from cities to their home villages. Mehta said the workers did not wish to leave the cities and were being instigated to do so. Senior lawyer and Congress member Kapil Sibal countered him, “who are these people behind the conspiracy and against how many of them have the authorities taken action.” Mehta failed to shed light on the instigators.