Patna, May 6 (PTI) The opposition in Bihar Wednesday lambasted the Karnataka government for advocating cancellation of trains run from there, accusing the B S Yediyurappa dispensation of viewing migrant workers as 'indentured labourers' and demanding a 'strong message' from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
In a strongly-worded statement, leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav charged the BJP government in Karnataka with trying to 'hold Bihari brethren hostage' and violating their human rights.
'For the past 40 days, these migrant workers were left to fend for themselves and treated as a liability by those with deep pockets. Now, fears have arisen that their return to home state could affect economic activity at places where they were eking out their living and have been stuck without jobs since the lockdown was announced', Yadav said.
The RJD leader was alluding to the communication sent to the Railways, reportedly after a meeting Yediyurappa held with those engaged in construction industry, which has triggered speculations that the Karnataka government was trying to protect interests of the powerful construction lobby which feared losing cheap labour.
'The BJP rules Karnataka as well as the Centre besides sharing power in Bihar. It should be made to understand that attempts to reduce our migrant brethren to indentured labourers will not be tolerated. We expect Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to send a strong message,' he said.
The Congress, which is an alliance partner of the RJD in Bihar, also came out with a similar statement.
BPCC president Madan Mohan Jha said, 'Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar should ensure that trains keep coming from Karnataka, unless they happen to be in agreement with what Yediyurappa government has done'. PTI NAC RG TIR TIR