Several Opposition leaders, including Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, those from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) President and MP Thirumavalvan, have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing deep concern over the security, welfare, livelihood and future of millions of working-class Indian people.
In the letter to the President, the Opposition leaders have raised the issue of labour laws being nullified and hard-won democratic rights of a vast majority of Indians being frittered away in the name of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The consequences of this prolonged national lockdown were anti-constitutional and, hence, against the law of the land, they said.
"Using the pretext of battle the Covid-19 pandemic, drastic changes are being made to the existing labour laws of the country which further jeopardises the lives and wellbeing of the working people. Already the country is witness to the most inhuman tragic dimensions of the plight of the migrant works since the national lockdown has been enforced. Far from protecting the fundamental right to life and dignity, today's conditions are barbaric. Last night, 16 migrant workers, mainly tribals, forced to walk thousands of kilometres back to their homes with no arrangements being made for them, were crushed to death by a goods train in Maharashtra," the letter read.
Speaking to ANI, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "We have written the letter to the President opposing the annulment of labour laws and we urged him to take note of our concern regarding the plights of migrants labourers and the problems that they are facing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is doing nothing for them in this crisis.