Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has expressed shock at the ‘second-class citizen’ treatment meted out by certain state governments, especially Maharashtra and Delhi, to people from other states who are residing and earning their livelihood in these states. In a series of tweets on Thursday, he said that other state government should take as much care of citizens who are of other state as much as they take care citizens from their own states.
#WorkersWoes We are all Indians. The state governments should take as much care of a citizen from outside state as of a person from Mumbai, Pune or Delhi. Please don't disown them in times of crisis like this, for they have worked very hard to contribute to the state's economy.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 4, 2020
Reiterating that we are all Indians, he urged other state governments to not abandon the citizens just because their home states are different in a crisis such as this.
#WorkersWoes We in Assam are, and shall continue to give the best medical assistance to all our people. All those coming home are our own.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 4, 2020
India is ONE. Our Citizens are ONE. No ONE is outsider on this land. Let's not divide on frivolous grounds.
He further stated that Assam government will continue to provide medical assistance to anyone in need in the state. “India is ONE. Our Citizens are ONE. No ONE is outsider on this land. Let’s not divide on frivolous grounds,” he said.
In his interview to Times Now, he further mentioned that had there been more aggressive testing in Delhi and Maharashtra, they would have managed to detect them much earlier and the chain would perhaps broken sooner. Slamming Delhi and Maharashtra governments for treating the workers from Assam as outsiders, Sarma said, “Our worker has been taken to Maharashtra, Delhi so that they can work and contribute to economy of these states. But today when crisis comes, they immediately disown our people. They say no, these are migrant labour. So wherefrom this ‘migrant workers’ come? They are engaged in economy of your state, your industry. For the first time in India it has happened that government of Maharashtra and government of Delhi have disowned people of Assam and started calling them ‘migrant labour’.”
It is demeaning, he said. “People will ask government of Maharashtra that if you cannot take care of us, why have you taken there for production and industries,” he said. “I am pained to see. It is tragic to see that people have been disowned from my state. How did definition of ‘migrant worker’ emerge? Isn’t India for everyone?” he questioned. He further reiterated that people of any other states working and living in Assam will be provided medical assistance without any discrimination.
On Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that only those who are residents of Delhi will be admitted to Delhi government run hospitals for coronavirus treatment. People from other states are free to go to central government run hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung.