Ugly politics in time of pandemic: Yogi Adityanath gets flak from Maharashtra leaders

Updated: 26 May, 2020 08:37 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Register migrants here, too, before giving them jobs, demands Raj Thackeray; leaders counter UP CM's rant over workforce plight

A Shramik Express leave Bhiwandi for UP. File pIC/Suresh Karkera
A Shramik Express leave Bhiwandi for UP. File pIC/Suresh Karkera

The migrant workers' issue has started a new turf war between Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra politicians. A day after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath declared that states in need of hiring workforce from his state should mandatorily seek his government's permission, leaders from the Maha Vikas Aghadi and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena strongly responded. Adityanath has also accused the Maharashtra government of leaving workers in the lurch while they were trying to return home in the wake of the pandemic.

Raj hits back
MNS chief Raj Thackeray fired the first salvo at the UP CM. He posted a note on Twitter asking his cousin, CM Uddhav Thackeray's government, to take a serious note of the UP CM's mandate. "If this is the case, then any migrant entering Maharashtra will also need to take prior permissions from the state government. The Maharashtra government should take the matter seriously. The IDs and photographs of any migrant seeking a job here should be registered in the local police stations," he said in a statement.

Raj had taken a similar stand previously, telling the state government to register the migrant labour force that left the state. He suggested that those registered should be allowed to return after verification.

Adityanath also enraged Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who is running a Twitter feud with the UP CM, after calling the monk-turned-politician 'Hitler' in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna. Adityanath had responded to the Hitler barb by blaming the Uddhav Thackeray government for leaving migrant workers in the lurch. The UP CM also called the Maharashtra government selfish for allegedly ignoring the plight of workers who have contributed in developing the state with their sweat and blood. Adityanath has announced a migration commission in UP for providing social and financial security to the sons of the soil who have returned home in the time of COVID-19. He wants to train them in skills and provide them with jobs, and will allow migration only if other states ensure a similar safety net for the migrants.

'Don't blame Maharashtra'
Raut retorted on Monday, telling Adityanath to focus on ensuing the wellbeing of the workers who have reached UP after suffering a lot, because of their own government. "He (Adityanath) should see that the workers get food, water, shelter and jobs. Who sent the migrants away from UP borders, who delayed trains and created all possible roadblocks in sending the hapless people home from Maharashtra?" Raut asked.

According to CM Thackeray the state has spent R 82 crore on buying train tickets for the migrants, most of who come from UP. Another R 55 cr were spent on running state transport buses to other states. Thackeray has asked for more trains to take migrants home.

State Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat lambasted Adityanath for purportedly showing Maharashtra and its people in poor light. "The Maharashtra government, its administration, political leaders and workers, the common people in the towns and villages, NGOs and thousands of individuals have made a sincere and human effort to offer much-needed relief to migrant workers. It is inhuman to say that Maharashtra has left the poor people in the lurch. In fact, we took utmost care of them. And I insist that Maharashtra will parent migrants in future also," said Thorat.

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First Published: 26 May, 2020 07:01 IST

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