Recently, Delhi was rocked by a major migrant crisis with disturbing visuals of lakhs of migrants headed for their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh mobilised at the Anand Vihar ISBT (Delhi-UP Border) amidst a lockdown that has been enforced in order to ensure that social distancing breaks the chain of spread of Coronavirus.
While Delhi witnessed a near apocalypse in the backdrop of an exodus of migrant labourers, the state of Telangana managed the situation without any reports of migrants trying to flee the state. Making all the difference between the two states is Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao’s to the migrants in the state, in sharp contrast with Kejriwal’s antipathy towards migrants in Delhi.
Delhi’s shoddy management of the migrant crisis was no less than a sinister conspiracy to drive them out of the National Capital- announcements and rumours about UP Roadways buses arriving at Anand Vihar, delay in asking landlords to postpone rent for the ongoing month and reports of 570 DTC being arranged to leave the migrants stranded at the Delhi-UP Border, almost everything that the Kejriwal government reeked of malice against the migrants.
On the other hand, KCR reached out to the migrants to ensure that they don’t end up panicking in view of the lockdown. The Telugu Chief Minister assured the migrants living in the state in Hindi to drive his point home. He made it clear that the migrant labourers shouldn’t worry about going back to their native places, and as long as they stayed in Telangana, they would be taken care of as family members.
Speaking at a Press Conference to allay all concerns of the migrant labourers, he said, “We will supply 12-kg rice or wheat flour free of cost and give ₹500 per person. Rice or wheat flour and financial assistance will be given to them even if they do not have a ration card.”
Every state is not like Delhi & every CM is not like Kejriwal.
— 🅺🅳🆁 केडीआर કેડીઆર ಕೆಡಿಆರ್ 🚩 (@KDRtweets) March 29, 2020
He added, “As Chief Minister of Telangana I am telling how many crores of rupees are needed to be spent we will not go back, we will arrange for the money. You stay comfortably. At any cost nobody should starve in Telangana from any state.”
Further assuring the migrants living in Telangana, the Chief Minister said, “If there is any problem, you can meet the local police, collector or MLA. I kindly request you all not to worry about your stay in the state.”
The difference in the approach of the Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and the Telangana Chief Minister KCR, essentially emanates out of the fact that while the former looks at migrants as a burden upon the national capital that also got manifested in his anti-Purvanchali slurs last year, the latter looks upon them as ‘Telangana State’s Development Partners’.
Thus, while Kejriwal decided to use the Coronavirus outbreak to throw out migrants and fulfill one of his political objectives, even if that meant creating a major disaster for the neighbouring state of UP, Rao understood that the mandate of the lockdown must be honoured.
It is not a matter of surprise that K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s outreach to the migrant labourers is winning hearts and applause. Union Minister for Minister for Animal Husbandry tweeted, “Honorable Chief Minister of Telangana is winning hearts in the midst of crisis. Thank you @TelanganaCMO.”
— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) March 30, 2020
Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries too has showered praise upon the Telangana CM. He tweeted, “Must appreciate the way Hon’ble CM @TelanganaCMO KCR Garu has assured the public.”
— Dr. Sanjeev Balyan (@drsanjeevbalyan) March 30, 2020
Famous journalist, ANI Managing Editor Smita Prakash also tweeted, “This is the way it should be done. Words of assurance delivered with confidence that everything he promises will reach the migrant labourers. Well done CM KCR.”
This is the way it should be done. Words of assurance delivered with confidence that everything he promises will reach the migrant labourers. Well done CM KCR https://t.co/q3fyao3ZcG
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) March 30, 2020
Apart from political leaders and leading journalists, celebrities, sportspersons and actors too have come out appreciating Telangana Chief Minister Rao’s outreach and financial assistance to the migrant labourers.
While the CM Kejriwal tried to literally created panic out of thin air, Telangana CM KCR was quick to ensure that a false alarm was not raised among the migrant labourers. Rao has led the way as far as handling the migrant crisis is concerned. Rising above party lines, he has set a fitting precedent that all other states must follow, assure the migrants and reach out to them with all possible measures, whether in kind or through financial assistance.