MNS chief Raj Thackeray sparked controversy stating that the migrant workers from other states were responsible for the rapid spread of coronavirus in Maharashtra. Thackeray said the migrant labourers lacked adequate facilities to test them for coronavirus.
“Maharashtra is the most industrialised state in India which attracts a large number of workers from other states. The places from where these workers come lacked enough testing facilities,” he said while addressing a press conference.
“During the lockdown last year, I had suggested that migrant workers who are returning from their native places should be tested, but it was not done,” Raj Thackeray told reporters.
After this statement of Raj Thackeray, Dhadak Kamgar Union General Secretary Abhijeet Rane has registered a protest against the MNS chief for his highly obnoxious and baseless statement, that due to the influx of workers, labourers and migrant job seekers corona is spreading like a wildfire in Maharashtra.
Abhijeet Rane in his statement has condemned the unverified accusation against workers from other states as causing uncontrollable corona.
Abhijeet Rane, quoting health authorities, questioned the authenticity of Thackeray blaming migrant workers. “According to the Maharashtra government, corona spread is not related to or caused because of migrants but due to negligence of local people and lack of discipline by competent authorities.”
“The Labour department has confirmed that hardly 25 per cent of migrant labourers have returned back and in their home states, corona cases are marginal compared to Maharashtra so chances of migrants spreading corona are very less rather negligible,” Rane added.
Abhijeet Rane has also declared that Dhadak Kamgar Union would be arranging corona test and vaccination camps with cooperation from BMC and the state government.
Rane is likely to lead a delegation to health minister Rajesh Tope to seek his help in organising test and vaccination camps mainly for those migrants who have returned from their home states.
The union leader also expressed concern and worry over reports that fearing an indefinite lockdown against migrants in large numbers are rushing back to their native states leaving industry business into total loss and devastation.
Balvir Vaid, a journalist and Workers Union leader told Afternoon Voice, “Uski Soch Hi Galat Hain” (His mentality is wrong). Raj Thackeray has always blamed North Indians for everything happening around. It seems that he is returned to his anti-migrant agenda in the name of COVID to grab media attention.”
“I believe Mumbai has no existence without the support of migrants; the city is run by them. Coming back to Thackeray’s allegation that migrants are responsible for the rise of COVID-19 in Maharashtra then let me remind Mr Thackeray, that the poor migrants were not the ones who bought the virus, it came with the Indian returning from foreign. So, blaming the migrants for the surge of COVID-19 in Maharashtra is ridiculous,” Vaid added.
Slamming the MNS chief over his remark on migrants, BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua said, “India is a democratic country and as per Indian constitution anyone can work anywhere. So, just blaming migrants for the increase in COVID cases is not acceptable at all. Corona has increased in Maharashtra and Mumbai due to the inability of the MVA government and not because of the migrants.”
Pradeep Singh, a media person quoted, “Blaming UP, Bihar people for the surge in COVID-19 cases is unfair. Can Raj Thackeray guarantee if these migrants leave Maharashtra then there will be no cases in Maharashtra? Rather than creating hate among people, Raj Thackeray should start educating people on how to protect themselves from viruses.”
“It’s not that only North Indians are diagnosed with COVID-19; coronavirus does not differentiate between rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim, Marathi or Gujarati. So, I think he should stop doing politics out of such tragedy. We all should come together to combat the virus and get rid of it as soon as possible,” Pradeep further added.
Atul Tiwari, Editor of Voice of Thane Live said, “I think Raj Thackeray showed a mirror to the government of Maharashtra, his statement is the question on Maharashtra government’s testing and controlling capacity of coronavirus.”