Asked if the Opposition's response during Covid crisis had been minimal, Kushwaha said it was only because they had to adhere to lockdown norms.
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha has said the Bihar government “stood exposed on migration” and that it would be the “dominating theme of the coming Assembly polls”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Kushwaha said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had been allowing migrants into the state “reluctantly” and suggested that the state should have offered migrants the option of staying back by giving them Rs 10,000 — an estimated expense on transporting and keeping the migrant at a quarantine centre.
“After chief ministers of some states started calling back migrants, Nitish came under pressure. The way he dealt with the migrants’ issue is not at all satisfactory. Quarantine centres are just places to herd people. No social distancing is being followed.”
Kushwaha said the state had been transporting migrants to quarantine centres, giving them clothes and other items besides food. “Estimated expense on a migrant from journey on train or bus to his stay at a quarantine centre is about Rs 10,000. Had the government offered this amount to a migrant, he could have met his expenses in another state and stayed back. This could have also prevented the spread of the virus.”
He, however, added, “It’s one’s right to come home. Who can stop them from coming back?”
Asked if the Opposition’s response during Covid crisis had been minimal, Kushwaha said it was only because they had to adhere to lockdown norms.
Bihar Information and Public Relations minister and JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar responded: “What we could gather from our interactions with the migrants is that they wanted to come home to be with their families. It is only because of a caring government that they wanted to return.”
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