NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “despair” over the exclusion of the state from the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan that was launched on Saturday.
Baghel said Chhattisgarh’s inclusion in the scheme could help provide employment to migrant workers and farmers.
The programme aims to provide jobs to workers in rural areas which have been worst affected by reverse migration and aims to broaden their social security net.
The union government has prioritized states and districts with high number of returnee migrants under the scheme. The scheme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, covers 116 districts in six states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha. These districts account for 67 lakh migrant workers which is nearly two-third of the total returnee migrants during lockdown.
“The entire country is affected by the fallout of covid-19 pandemic. Migrant workers who earn daily wages are most affected by this. They are forced to return to their home states owing to drying up of employment opportunities in their places of work. Nearly 5 lakh migrant workers have returned to Chhattisgarh till now and the return of migrant workers to their home town is still going on,” Baghel wrote in his letter dated Saturday and released by the state government on Sunday.
“I urge you to include Chhattisgarh under the scheme at the earliest so that migrant workers can get employed based on their skills and interests,” he added.
On Saturday, Baghel had remarked on Twitter saying that the exclusion of Chhattisgarh from the scheme ‘reflects the narrow political mindset on the federal structure’ by the Center. Out of the six states where the scheme has been launched, BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is in power in three, Congress is in power in Rajasthan, and in alliance in Jharkhand, while Biju Janata Dal is in power in Odisha.