Baghel slams ‘narrow-minded’ Centre as job scheme leaves out Chhattisgarh

It was launched on June 20 in 116 districts of six states to provide employment to migrant labourers

migrant workers, stranded labourers, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown
CM Baghel said that about three-fourths of the state is extremely backward and covered with forests. File Photo: PTI

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday (June 21) demanded that the districts of the state are included under the ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’, a day after the employment-cum-rural public works campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The scheme was launched with an outlay of ₹50,000 crore on June 20 in 116 districts of six states — Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand. It aims at providing livelihood opportunities to migrant workers who had returned home during the nationwide lockdown enforced in wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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In a tweet in Hindi, Baghel said that not including even a single district of his state in the scheme displayed “narrow-minded political attitude” of the central government towards the federal structure of the country. “Chhattisgarh has given nine out of 11 members of parliament to BJP and yet the state and its citizens were subject to injustice,” his tweet read.


According to a public relation department official, Chief Minister Baghel has written to the prime minister regarding this. In his letter, he said while neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha have been included in the campaign, Chhattisgarh was excluded despite having geographical, economical and social similarities with these states.

He said that the migrant workers who have returned to Chhattisgarh will get employment opportunities according to their interest and skills if the state will be made part of the scheme. The entire nation is bearing the brunt of COVID-19 pandemic and labourers are the most affected due to the crisis, and, so far, over five lakh migrant labourers have returned to Chhattisgarh, Baghel added.

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The chief minister said that about three-fourths of the state is extremely backward and covered with forests, and about 80 per cent of the population is from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes communities.

About 90 per cent of the state’s population depends on agriculture and labour, and there was a sense of despair among the poor, agricultural labourers, migrant workers and marginal farmers as the state has not been covered under the scheme, the chief minister said.

(With inputs from agencies)