New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, in an exlusive interview to NDTV on Saturday, said that he was not in the favour of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to bring back migrant workers from his state stranded across the country amid the Coronavirus lockdown. Also Read - Nitin Gadkari Laments That Ministry Could Not Bring Down Number of Accidents
Expressing his apprehension, Gadkari asserted that it was not a feasible option, as it may increase the risk of spreading the virus if the testing of all the workers is not done before taking them back. Also Read - New Citizenship Law Not Against Muslim Community of India, Says Nitin Gadkari
“I heard UP Chief Minister’s statement (on running buses) and I would request against it. I feel, at this point, we need to exercise caution. This is not the time. If someone contracts coronavirus, then it can become a big problem in Uttar Pradesh,” he told the news channel. Also Read - Central Govt to Spend Rs 5 Lakh Crore on Infrastructure: Nitin Gadkari
“Right now there is coronavirus everywhere. If migrants return, they will not return alone, coronavirus will return with them. If the migrants are being taken back, it should be verified that they are not coronavirus positive. The situation is difficult right now, so I feel the migrants should be given food and shelter where they are,” Gadkari added.
Yogi Adityanath had Friday instructed his nodal officers to draw up a strategic plan to bring back migrant workers and labourers stranded in other states due to coronavirus lockdown. The Chief Minister had said that the workers will be kept under quarantine for 14-days before being sent to their homes in respective villages in the state.
On April 22, Gadkari said the situation arising from coronavirus pandemic can be a “blessing in disguise” as several multinational firms are willing to shift their units from China to India.
India should facilitate their entry into the country, he told a Marathi newschannel.
“There is a blessing in disguise in the current situation. Many China-based companies are ready to shift their industrial units to India,” the minister for MSMEs said. “We should provide them proper facilities,” he added.