In the latest betrayal to the migrants of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, the CM of the state with more than a decade long regime, has refused to bring back students from Kota, Rajasthan. Kota is a popular engineering and medical examination coaching hub, and every year lakh of students, especially from poorer states like UP, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, go to the city to prepare for competitive exams.
The Yogi government in UP arranged 150 buses to transport back thousands of students stranded in the city. The UP government has also arranged buses for stranded migrant workers in Delhi, and many other states, like- Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, have asked Ministry of Home Affairs to arrange buses and trains to transport back the migrant workers and students back to their homes.
But, there is only one CM who neither wants migrant workers nor the students back in the state, and that is- heartless socialist Nitish Kumar. Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav attacked Nitish Kumar over his inactiveness on the migrant laborers and students. “Other states like Gujarat and UP have shown concern over residents stranded outside the state and have taken steps to bring back them home,” Tejashwi said. “If BJP run governments were capable of shifting its people back why was the state government of Bihar so helpless,” he asked.
But Nitish Kumar has not only refused any assistance to stranded migrant workers and students, but also questioned the leaders like Yogi Adityanath for doing the same. He also said that the students studying in Kota are from rich families hence needing no assistance. Such heartless leader, with complete apathy towards its citizens, is hard to find anywhere in the world.
“Students studying in Kota come from well-to-do families. What is the urgent need to get them home while migrant workers are stranded in other parts of the country?” he asked on 18 April when Yogi Adityanath had decided to send 300 buses for students from UP.
“Getting students back during the lockdown is a violation of norms,” Nitish added. “When the labourers moved around in Delhi in March, it was also a violation and I had requested them to stay where they are,” he had added.
Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, all Chief Ministers have employed their full capacity in fight against the pandemic. And the fight against Corona is either bringing the best or the worst in these leaders. So far, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and UP CM Yogi Adityanath has proven to be one of the best leaders in fight against the pandemic, while Nitish Kumar, with around one and a half decade of experience, has proven to be one the worst.
The problems in UP and Bihar are a lot similar given high population density, low per capita income, and a large migrant population, and therefore, comparing the leadership of these two would make more sense.
On one hand, Yogi Adityanath has made all out efforts to bring every possible relief to migrant laborers not just of UP but of other states like Bihar and Jharkhand too, while on the other hand, Nitish Kumar has not made a single visit to relief camps so far.
Yogi Adityanath has been constantly shuttling between Lucknow, Noida, and Delhi to look after the stranded migrant workers and provide relief measures to them. The UP government has also announced that every construction worker will be given 1,000 rupees per day as compensation for the lockdown period; the government front-loaded the MGNREGA money of around 600 crore rupees and cleared all previous dues in order to make sure that every poor person of the state is economically secure.
In contrast to this, Bihar CM does not even want migrant workers to come back to state, given the additional burden it will pose on the administration. As per 2011 census, Bihar has around 2.5 crore migrant workers, which is equal to population of smaller states like Punjab or Haryana. Out of the 2.5 crore workers, 2 crore come from rural areas and 50 lakh from urban areas, and majority of them work as daily wage laborers in various states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, and UT of Delhi. These migrant workers bring millions of dollars in remittances to the state and help the economy of the state as well as support their families. But the apathy of Nitish Kumar government towards the migrant laborers, who contribute billions of dollars, is appalling.
He has completely failed to the people of state despite experience of more than one decade while Yogi Adityanath, the young and dynamic CM of Uttar Pradesh with just 3 years of experience, shines like a new penny.