New Delhi: Based on a suggestion by Union Home Minster Amit Shah, his party, the BJP has decided to galvanise its entire cadre and provided focussed and targeted relief to migrant workers for the next two weeks.
Sources said on a visit to the BJP headquarters Thursday, Shah made the suggestion to his successor as BJP president, J.P. Nadda, who then instructed all the general secretaries and state units to organise camps on highways and beside railway tracks, to distribute chappals, soaps, food, water and masks.
The party has also instructed its workers to ensure that the maximum possible number of ambulances be stationed at highways, so that if migrant workers fall ill on their long walk home, they can be hospitalised quickly.
At the general secretaries meeting Thursday, the consensus was that migrants’ agony is really disturbing, and concern was expressed about their walk home as well as casualties on highways and railway tracks.
“It was felt that migrants’ suffering is not getting reduced despite several central government measures such as Shramik Special trains. Several states are not cooperating in running more trains, so the urgent need is to help migrants,” a general secretary told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.
“Despite the central and state governments transferring assistance into their accounts, and the special trains, every day, some casualties are being reported. So, party president (Nadda) has instructed that for a few weeks, the whole cadre will ensure no casualties take place at railway tracks and on highways.”
Migrants’ faith in PM Modi
BJP sources pointed out that migrants have been praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite their suffering, which shows they have great faith in him. But that faith, they said, might crack due to the negligence of a few people, and because some people want to exploit migrants’ agony.
A few states, sources alleged, were also not cooperating due to their political compulsions, so the BJP cadre has to be pitched in to supplement government efforts in handling the migrant crisis.
A second BJP general secretary told ThePrint: “For the last one and a half months, we are running community kitchens to provide food to needy migrants and the poor. Several of our state units are distributing masks and sanitisers, but the feedback we have received from the ground has been full of the agony of affected migrants.
“Right now, they want to reach their homes in any way possible, and we have to reach out to them to help. The central government has started special trains for them. But now, we are stepping up our efforts, and under our new scheme, eight crore migrants will get 5 kg grains and 1 kg dal free for two months, besides cash incentives.”