Patna, May 6 (PTI) Limiting the facility of special trains to those stuck away from their native places since just before the lockdown would result in injustice to a large number of migrant workers from Bihar who might be deprived of a journey back home despite badly needing it, leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav said on Wednesday.
In a video message, the RJD leader said he had flagged the issue at a meeting held by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the previous night in which MLAs representing all political parties had taken part via video conferencing and discussed the coronavirus situation.
I said this was injustice (yeh anyaay hai). I urged the Chief Minister to take up the matter with the Centre so that the Union Home Ministry suitably amends its guidelines issued on May 03 whereby the scope of the facility has been narrowed down, he said.
He also said that the state government must requisition as many trains as possible to facilitate the journey of shramveers (the valiant ones earning livelihood by hard labor) and added the excuse of paucity of resources should not be resorted to in this hour of crisis.
We had received 2.5 lakh guests during the Prakash Parva and footed the bill for their prolonged stay.. can we not do the same for our own people, Yadav asked referring to the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh held in January, 2017 when his party was sharing power and he himself was serving as the Deputy CM.
As the principal opposition party, the RJD has been forthcoming with the offer of help. We have said that our party is ready to foot the bill for 2000 buses and 50 trains.
We stand by the same if it eases the burden of the state government, the 30-year-old said.
The RJD leader also said I have cautioned the Chief Minister against depending too much on his team of bureaucrats to gauge the situation on the ground.
'They could hoodwink him. He should, instead, take MLAs into the loop. Being elected representatives, they have a greater accountability to the people and would gain nothing from speaking lies during such a crisis.
Besides putting in place such a system of check and balance, our Chief Minister should consider personally visiting hospitals and centers set up for testing and quarantining to get a first-hand account. Many of his counterparts in other states are doing the same. I suggested this at yesterdays meeting too.
Yadav also disapproved of the state governments much- touted door-to-door screening drive, inspired from its immensely successful Pulse Polio campaign a decade ago, and favored that the focus be shifted to increasing testing of samples.
We should have testing centres at every district.
Screening is useless since it is evident that most patients in the country are asymptomatic,' he said.
The government must also ensure adequate protective gear for its medical personnel and the Chief Minister should walk the talk on his resolve to raise the number of ventilators in the state by at least 100, Yadav added.
For most such equipment, the state government is looking at the Centre which apparently is not responding with the desired sense of urgency. But there are states like Chhattisgarh which are making direct purchases, without depending on the Centre. There is no reason why Bihar cannot do so, he added. PTI NAC SNS SNS