Highlighting the Centre’s efforts to transport migrants from many corners of India to their homes, Union Home Minister Amidst Shah, said that Bihar’s migrant workers were the reason behind several developed states while addressing the first ‘virtual’ rally from Delhi to Bihar. He added that PM Modi had released funds to states, instructing them to shelter their migrant population, after announcing lockdown. Stating that 1.25 crore migrants had been transported from various states to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and the north-east, he hailed the Shramik trains which made it possible.
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“I wish to acknowledge that whether it be Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu – which are developed, the roots of their development smells of the toil of my Bihar’s migrant workers. These people who insult these migrants, do not know how much Modiji has worked to keep these migrants safe. PM Modi had released Rs 11,000 crores to states to arrange shelter camps and food to all migrant labourers stranded in various states,” he said.
He added, “After the health services were made in every district, oxygen cylinders delivered, then from May 1, the Centre allowed trains to be run named ‘Shramik’ trains for the migrant labourers. Around 1.25 crore migrants have been transported safely back home by this BJP government. There have been instances where migrants started walking on-fot, then ST buses were run to transport them to the nearest railway station”.
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Reiterating that 85% of the fare was borne by Centre, 15% by states, he said that Bihar government had additionally given Rs 1000 and goods worth Rs 1100 to each returning migrant. Taking a jibe at Tejashwi Yadav’s absence during the migrant crisis from Patna, Shah asked him to clarify Tejashwi’s whereabouts to Bihar. Bihar is set to got polls in November 2020.
“85% fare was borne by the Centre, while state bore 15% of the fare. The funds to set up and maintain quarantine centres was borne by state governments. When these migrant labourers left, Rs 1000 cash and goods worth Rs 1100 was given by the Bihar government. They have been physically examined and are now safe at their houses,” he said.
Hitting out at RJD for politics over migrants, he asked, “Where were you (Tejashwi)? Were you in Delhi or Patna? What did do? It was not an easy task for us to run thousands of trains, provide food and water, screen and then arrange buses, transporting 1.25 crore migrants from one corner of the nation to another.”
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BJP’s digital push
Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases rising, BJP announced that Amit Shah will address the people of the state through video conference and Facebook live, with a target of roping in at least one lakh people across the 243 assembly segments in Bihar. Apart from Shah, Union Ministers Nityanand Rai, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi too are present at the rally. Sources state that atleast 72,000 BJP workers have tuned in.
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