Following a meeting between CM B.S. Yediyurappa and the builders, Karnataka state government requested the railways to cancel trains that were supposed to take migrant workers home.
Around 53,000 of these workers were from Bihar alone, reports The Wire.
There was fear among the builders that if a large number of labourers return home, the cost of construction will increase by a huge margin.
Does Karnataka CM think that migrant workers are bonded labour or slaves?— Geet V (@geetv79) May 6, 2020
If builders paid workers a decent wage, then the migrants would voluntarily come rushing back to work. They cannot be kept captive. #BharatJalaoParty https://t.co/SXt6QuAWEV
Alarmed because of their financial issues, they asked for a meeting with the CM and assured that they will take care of the migrant workers.
Soon after, the trains were cancelled even as thousands of people ache to go back home. Deccan Herald quoted one of them as saying that he'd rather go back home, even if he has to let go of his salary.
That won't be an option, however, if the trains are cancelled. A huge section of people has been criticising this move by the government, pointing out how this amounts to slavery.
Karnataka cancels trains for Migrants after meeting with builders, some of these workers have not neend paid for the last month and were waiting to go back home.— KS (@KhanSaab85) May 6, 2020
Bjp treating workers as #Slaves pic.twitter.com/xAZuCHZTYS
Not one builder came forward to provide food, shelter to migrants these last 40 days. One meeting, and builders and government collude to hold them hostage.— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) May 5, 2020
Do the conscienceless dickheads in govt think every migrant in Karnataka is a construction worker? https://t.co/RvN4HoWRpl
Karnataka govt cancels inter-state trains for migrant workers because builders express labour concerns— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) May 6, 2020