APCC General Secretaries, Shri Pankaj Borbora is the convenor and Shri Ranjan Bora is the chairman of the new committee Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: To bring back people who are stranded in other states due to the lockdown, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has constituted a new committee that will bear the cost for the railway transport of workers.

APCC General Secretaries, Shri Pankaj Borbora, and Shri Ranjan Bora have been appointed as Convenor and Chairman of the committee respectively.

The development follows the announcement by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to pay for rail transport of stranded migrant workers to their respective states. According to Borbora, “The need of an opposition party to undertake such a measure has revealed this government’s disregard for the concerns of India’s migrant worker population who face an unprecedented existential crisis due to the lockdown.”

Taking yet another jibe at the present government, he added that at a time when a majority of these workers are out of work, the exploitative character of this government has come to the fore through its decision to compel people belonging to the poorer sections of the society to incur costs by themselves for their homebound rail travel.

This APCC sub-committee would function as a help desk and coordinate with AICC (All India Congress Committee) COVID Control Room of different stated. It will also build a database of the stranded people. To coordinate the effort with the State Government, a three-member delegation of APCC comprising of Pankaj Borbora, Ranjan Bora and Kalyan Gogoi called on Assam Chief Secretary, Kumar Sanjay Krishna last week.

“While we have undertaken to bear costs of rail travel of the concerned people, the success of our effort would also require the government’s cooperation as it administers critical logistics said Borbora. Pleased with the Chief Secretary’s response who had assured all help and has even forwarded the memorandum to ADGP G.P Singh who is the nodal officer for inter-state transportation of stranded people.

The APCC has claimed that the help desk has received approximately 25,000 responses already. Borbora has also expressed that to swiftly conduct the exercise he would try to secure the cooperation of different trade and railway workers unions. The Committee also comprises of Smt Nandita Das, MLA, and senior party leaders including Shri Kalyan Gogoi, Durgadas Boro, Juri Sarma Bordoloi, Gaurav Somani, Amit Agarwala, Nawal Kishore, Hemanta Neog among others.

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