Students not to pay the fee; migrant workers to get full refund: Nitish

PATNA: Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar made it clear on Monday that his government will bear all the expenses for the trip home from students and stranded out of state because of opposition rejection that accused him of leaving them in the lurch.

In a video message, the chief minister said train fares of students were being paid directly by his government to the railways, while migrant workers will be reimbursed the entire expenses they incurred on the journey once they have completed their 21-day quarantine after reaching Bihar.

All migrant workers will be transferred to the headquarters of the corresponding block from the railway station, where they must be quarantined for 21 days. After discharge, they will be reimbursed the money they would have spent for the trip, in addition to a grant of Rs 500 each. Each migrant worker will receive a minimum of 1,000 rupees from the state government, Kumar said.

Regarding students , he said, no money is being charged to them for their return.

Some trains have come from Kota ... the money is being paid by the state government. But since there is some bayanbaazi (political attack) on the subject, the confusion needs to be dispelled.

Kumar's statement was preceded by an offer by the opposition leader in the Bihar assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, to pay the bill for 50 of those trains in the next five days.

The RJD leader had also mocked the government for lost revenue due to the ban, in addition to squandering government announcements and schemes like Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali that proposes to combat climate change.

The RJD leader had earlier accused the government of indifference towards students and when it expressed its inability to bring them back by the busloads, like many other states did, citing lockdown restrictions and lack of adequate number of buses.

However, the prime minister maintained that his government's scrupulous adherence to the blockade has ensured that the COVID 19 outbreak remains under control in the state, the second most populous in the country. Bihar has reported fewer than 600 cases and only four victims so far, Kumar said.

He also said that 19 abandoned Lakh migrant workers out of state received financial assistance from his government during the shutdown period. More such requests are being processed, while we are also bringing back those who wish to return home.

Meanwhile, RJD national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha deputy Manoj Jha, seen as a mentor to 30-year-old Yadav, in the absence of the latter's politically savvy father, issued a statement, alleging that Kumar often acted under pressure from the opposition and that he had done the same thing again.

We can see his previous record of four to six months. However, we are pleased that he showed a belated willingness to help migrant workers, Jha said.

He said the government should now ensure that as many trains as possible are run and that the return of migrants increases speed.

Let our poor brothers feel that their lives are not worthless in a world that is beautified by their work, but where they have been left tall and dry, Jha said.