PM Modi understands that the huge influx of migrants in Bihar, which has brought resentment against CM Nitish Kumar, will be a key factor in the October-November Assembly elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan’ from a Bihar village on Saturday. The scheme is aimed at providing employment opportunities to migrant workers. The scheme will be launched from Telihar village in Khagaria district of Bihar. PM Modi will unveil the scheme through video conferencing in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi. Chief Ministers of 5 other states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha will also attend the event.
The decision to launch a scheme for migrants from Bihar is crucial as it comes just ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for later this year. The first test for PM Modi, after the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that followed, will come in November in Bihar when the eastern state will vote to elect a new government. PM Modi and political parties understand that the huge influx of migrants in the state, which has brought resentment against the Nitish Kumar government, will be a key factor in the elections and therefore securing their vote is a must to win in the elections.
The Rs 50,000-crore Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan will primarily focus on six states including Bihar where maximum migrant workers have returned during the lockdown. Under this scheme, 125-day employment will be provided to migrants. The government has selected over 25,000 migrant labourers each in 116 districts across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.
The selected 116 districts are estimated to cover about two-thirds of migrant workers who have returned.
The works under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan include construction of border roads, digging wells, building a gram panchayat bhavan and housing to create rural assets.
The scheme is being rolled after the states completed the task of skill mapping of migrants. It is believed that the government is aiming to reach out to the upset migrants by hiring them for developmental works as elections date nears in Bihar.
Bihar is the country’s largest source of migrant workers. It is currently ruled by an alliance of BJP-JDU-LJP. It is headed by Nitish Kumar. The issue of migrants is bound to be snowball during the election and determine the fate of Nitish Kumar-led alliance and the grand alliance led by RJD.