Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has found backing from friend-turned-foe Prashant Kishor in the state government’s fight against coronavirus and the measures it is taking to provide relief to commoners. Kishor, who had been critical of the Chief Minister over his handling of the coronavirus crisis, took to Twitter to praise Kumar for announcing a Rs 100-crore relief package for migrants who are facing the brunt of lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak.
Kishor’s praise came just a day after his ‘shame on you’ rant on Kumar for allegedly abandoning migrants in different cities of the country amid a lockdown.
"After all the public outcry, GoB has announced new measures to help daily wage workers and poor people stranded across India due to the lockdown. This includes additional fund of 100Cr from the Chief Minister’s relief fund. Thank you all for adding your voice to the cause," the former Janata Dal (United) national vice-president said along with a folded hands emoji for CM Kumar.
Earlier, the poll strategist had accused Kumar of abandoning hundreds of poor people from Bihar in Delhi and other parts of the country following a complete lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night. Kishor was expelled from JD(U) by Nitish Kumar in January for being openly critical of his stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"Hundreds of poor people of Bihar in Delhi and other places are locked down, trapped because of Nitish Kumarji. When governments all over are helping their people, why is the Bihar government not (helping) these people, arranging some immediate relief? Shame on Nitish Kumar," he had tweeted.
In a bid to ease the hardships that the poor are facing in wake of the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak across the country, the Bihar government has announced that all ration card holding families in the state will get an assistance of Rs 1,000 each. Apart from a Rs 100 crore relief package, Kumar has also announced that schools will be converted to shelter homes and food will be provided to the poorest across the length and breadth of the state.
The eastern state is home to more than 10 crore people. Majority of the people are poor and depend on agriculture and unorganised sector for livelihood and thus they are vulnerable to economic distress when all activities have been suspended due to the lockdown.
The state has reported four confirmed coronavirus cases so far, including one death.