Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Friday said the state government will bring back migrant workers stranded in other parts of the country amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, The Indian Express reported. This came on the same day Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath announced that his government will bring back labourers and workers who have been stranded in other states and have completed 14 days of quarantine in a phased manner.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said his state has also sought permission to conduct a similar exercise. “Once the permission is granted, we will bring them back,” he told reporters in Raipur.

Chouhan said he consulted his counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and that they assured him full cooperation. Residents of Madhya Pradesh will also be allowed to travel to other states to bring back their relatives, the chief minister added.

Along with this, workers stranded in Madhya Pradesh will be allowed to go their respective states. The workers can arrange transport on their own or use the facilities provided by their state governments.

Chouhan said arrangements will be made for screening and testing the workers at the borders of the state and districts as well. However, workers from containment areas and affected districts like Indore will not be permitted to travel.

Priyanka Gandhi praises Uttar Pradesh government

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday lauded the Adityanath government’s decision to bring migrants back to Uttar Pradesh. “The initiative taken by the Uttar Pradesh government of bringing back stranded migrant workers is laudable,” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. “We have been stressing on this issue and this is a positive step in this direction.”

Gandhi said the state government must evolve a scheme for the rest of the labour force, if its efforts to bring back migrant workers are successful. “If we continue with this positive cooperation in national good, we will gain a lot strength in our fight against coronavirus,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Union home ministry is yet to clarify whether the decision to bring workers from other states is compatible with the lockdown guidelines. The countrywide lockdown, imposed on March 25 was supposed to end on April 14, but has been extended till May 3.

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