Two three months back some politicians, journalists were complaining that Indian government was not doing enough. Something like this:
They started keeping a tab on deaths because of Coronavirus. Kerala being the very first state. 3 Dead, 4 dead, ….. 100 infected. A constant reminder, news sites maintained a scorecard at the corner of the screen as if an election trends were shown. The very same people, when the Indian government imposed a lock-down started complaining that it is going to hit the poor, the economy and what not. But some how, the Indians did not pay much attention to what certain politicians and journalists were saying; and religiously followed the lock-down. They followed it so nicely that the fatality rate is among the lowest in the world. With such high population density, it is a commendable feat.
Not, only has the BJP handled the crisis brilliantly so far, but made a mark on the globe. Countries started looking upto India, be for the concerned drug or vaccine or for anything else. India did score a brownie point by the way it handled the crisis. This is not a good news for some politicians and journalists. I mention so far because the crisis is far from over.
Recently, Arvind Kejriwal came out and said that we have to live with Coronavirus and we should not hide from this fact. I agree with this. I have been saying this all along, you should read two of my articles on Coronavirus: The unwarranted fear of Coronavirus! and All in the name of Coronavirus, which were unfortunately removed from a lot of platforms where I share my content. Different people have exploited Covid-19 pandemic for different uses and I wanted to highlight that.
But why is he saying this now? Why so late? Did Coronavirus change? It is not like that his state government has created some exceptional healthcare infrastructure in the state in last 40 days. In fact his flagship healthcare reform, “Mohalla Clinics” have been shut all these days. They are good for nothing. Then what changed? Why did he not say the same thing a month ago? Because like Mr. Gandhi and some others he was also looking at Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity. They wanted to see how BJP handles this crisis and pin it on the government when it fails. They knew that the population density of India is way too high to contain a highly contagious virus like SARS-COV-2 that spreads by cough and sneeze. They started counting number of deaths at the very beginning because they were sure that government would be able to control it.
So what changed? Two things. First, since the BJP government controlled the fatalities other political parties need to find other ways to unsettle the government. And second, once a revenue surplus state is now on the verge of bankruptcy. Delhi and Mr. Kejriwal have joined the likes of Kerala and Sashi Tharoor, who you can find with a begging bowl every other year. Just a year ago Sashi Tharoor went to the UN begging for the funds. I understand it for Kerala, because their “Kerala Development Model” is such. But Delhi was a surplus state, what happened? Let me start with the second change.
If you remember a month or two ago, just before Delhi Assembly elections, Mr. Kejriwal had put Delhi on sale. The Delhi government allocated a whooping Rs 1790 crores for the free electricity scheme up to 200 units. Free water costed Rs 400 crore for one year, the number of subscribers for this would only increase with every year. Why? Because the population increases every year. The Delhi government sanctioned Rs 150 crore and Rs 140 crore for free bus rides and free metro rides i.e. a total of Rs 290 crores. Moreover, this is the case when Delhi Jal Board and Delhi Transport corporation have outstanding loans of more than Rs 26,000 crores and Rs 11,000 crores respectively as of March, 2018. You should not be surprised to see DJB and DTC needing a humongous bailout package like BSNL and Air India do that.
Must read: Is BSNL Crisis a product of 2G Scam?
The Supreme Court also criticized free fare scheme and warned the government about spending the tax money on freebies. When some people questioned the freebies, he confidently said: our government is not corrupt and so there is a lot of money; Delhi is a surplus state. What he cleverly hid from the people was that Delhi’s surplus has been reducing at a great rate, at its peak, this was Rs 10,642 crore in 2010-11. This has come down to Rs 4,465 crore in 2018-19. Further, he also hid from the public that his government has been decreasing the share of capital expenditure. The capital expenditure indicates allocation of resources for asset creation. It was Rs 11,685 crore in 2013-14 and is reduced to Rs 7,173 crore in 2017-18. Good luck to those who have been expecting new infrastructure in the state. Be it healthcare or otherwise. You can go through the CAG report on state finances for Delhi to verify what I am saying is correct or not, the report is available on internet.
Moreover the saddest part is that if a state like Delhi that has a per capita income three times the national average, starts like this what happens to the poor states? What happens if there is a war with Pakistan? Because politicians like Kejriwal and Tharoor instead of contributing towards the cause would be found complaining about the lack of funds; and say we are dying. Instead of strengthening India they would be pulling it back.
But he is an ex revenue officer, he knows all this. Still he does not give a damn about these things. Why? Because he is more interested in expanding and becoming a national party rather than focus on Delhi. Delhi is just a rung of a ladder, that would become useless for Mr. Kejriwal once his goals are achieved. You should read my articles: Delhi: Collateral Damage for nation building!!! and Delhi’s Bermuda Triangle.
If you were paying attention to the tiny details in his speeches for the past two or three months you should have seen the migrant crisis in Delhi coming beforehand. Before I move on to the specifics of his speeches, let me ask you some questions. Did you see Arvind Kejriwal and his MLAs coming on TV every other day and claiming that the government is feeding lakhs of poor people? They would come and say hundreds of schools have been turned into shelters, lakhs and lakhs of people are being fed every day. Correct me if I am wrong here. Did they not? Did Kejriwal not say: “We feed around 10 lakh persons every day and have provided free ration to 75 lakh persons“
If this was the case why are migrants leaving?
Now either they were lying the state authorities ate up all the funds and donations that were to be used to feed these people or the migrants are going for some other reason.
I would like to believe it to be the latter. The migrants are/were subtly asked to leave. I have been noticing since early January this year that Arvind Kejriwal in his speeches has been referring to the “outsiders from Bihar and UP” and “leave Delhi” in the same sentence. The first instance that I noticed was the NPR resolution speech given by him. He clearly mentioned: there are 20 to 40 lakhs people from Bihar and East UP living in Delhi, should I ask them to leave and get papers? Will they have to leave Delhi? I even wrote an article at the significance of that resolution. There is no legal significance of anti-CAA resolution passed by any state, but it has only one significance: political. Have look at my article: AAP’s no-NRC resolution & a new narrative.
Even the recent speech where he said we have to live with Coronavirus and there is no revenue. He did not fail to mention that the people will leave, there is no work.
Why does he want the people to leave Delhi and go back to Bihar and neighboring areas? What is in for him?
He is eyeing Bihar Elections that are due in October this year. This why he is pushing people back to Bihar and neighboring areas and insinuating that it is BJP that is the reason they have to go back to Bihar, be in the case of CAA-NPR-NRC or be it the extended lock-down. AAP is going to contest in Bihar for the very first time. Shatrughan Sinha, who has been jumping parties like one hops in a hopscotch(you know the game right?), is the Bihar state chief for AAP. The party aims to capitalize on anti-BJP sentiment.
You might even argue as to how this small number of migrants can possibly influence the politics of a state with a population of more than 12 crores and more than 7 crore voters. You are correct, these small number of migrants won’t affect, but the people these migrants are going to, will make a huge difference. For instance, if your brother comes from a different place all broken and says xyz party is a bad party, I am unemployed because of the party, would you vote for xyz? Would your neighbors vote for xyz when they come to know about your brother? They don’t want the same thing happening to them. In rural areas the entire village is closely linked to each other and would not vote for xyz party. Now, they would make a difference won’t they?
Arvind Kejriwal invented this scheme of mass exodus in the name of coronavirus and the other parties are taking a cue from Delhi. The First few Shramik special trains planned were — Nasik (Maharashtra) to Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Aluva (Kerala) to Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Nasik (Maharashtra) to Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur (Rajasthan) to Patna (Bihar) and Kota (Rajasthan) to Hatia (Jharkhand). More trains could be run depending on requests from the State governments. Did you notice the “From” state ? It is Maharashtra and Rajasthan, Congress ruled. Sonia Gandhi claims to be paying the fare for the migrants when there is no fare being charged from the migrants. Why? Because Congress also has stake in the Bihar Elections and is highly interested in unsettling BJP ruled government at the center. These migrant workers have become the latest vote bank.
They started it and now there is a complete chaos. It is very difficult to see a pattern now. We might like Kejriwal or might not like him, but the fact is that he did not inherit political empire built by his forefathers. Whatever he did (good or bad is another topic), he did it by himself. Arvind Kejriwal is the most dangerous politician in today’s India because of his selfish goals that are taking precedence over the state that he rules. He does not give a damn about anything. He is way ahead of his contemporaries like Rahul Gandhi or Uddhav Thackery. He can literally dissolve them in water and drink them like a shake whenever he feels like.
This migrant crisis is nothing but a way to create anger against the central government, an attempt to unsettle the ruling coalition. If you agree to what I said, please do share the content, talk about the various points that highlighted with other people. It is imperative that more and more people are made aware of the dirty politics played in the name of coronavirus. The more you share the article, the more people read it and the more people are able to see the underlying truth.
Thanks for reading!!!
5 thoughts on “The upcoming Bihar elections and the new Migrant vote bank”
I enjoyed reading this article, Chetan Ji — especially your lucid style. My compliments!
My understanding of your assertion is: “I, the Bihari, suddenly and quickly fled from Delhi because Kejriwal might have, at some time in the future, asked me to show ‘papers’. And the whole ‘paper thing’ is the fault of “Modi/Shah/BJP”.
In comparison, my sense would be that Muslims would likely — and admittedly wrongly –perceive a more imminent threat of “papers” due to CAA/NRC.
Yet there have been no major reports of a massive migration of Muslims. So why would the Biharis have “given up” so much more readily?
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Thank you for the complements.
You are absolutely right, there are no reports of massive Muslims migration, and I don’t think there would be anytime soon, for two reasons:
1. “Logistics”. Biharis knew where to go and how. Different parties and governments were in a race to provide buses and trains for migrant laborers (just to be in their good books) to reach their destination. However, Muslims who would “likely — and admittedly wrongly –perceive a more imminent threat of “papers” due to CAA/NRC” would not know where to go and how. That’s probably the reason why there isn’t any NRC draft yet. The problem is even if the government makes a list of people who are not citizens, what does the government do with them? If hypothetically, Bangladesh or Pakistan or any other muslim country for that matter says they will let them in and provide with the transportation we might see similar massive migration.
2. “Trust” The government BJP & NDA (parties in their own capacities as well) have been successful in infusing enough confidence in Muslim community regarding (CAA) which is more than the fear some parties and people have been trying to infuse in the name of CAA, that’s why we don’s see any massive migration. (BJP aa jaegi, tumko khajaegi isn’t working in todays political setup, it worked for long but not anymore). This trust factor was missing in states like Delhi and Maharashtra when it came to Biharis migrating.
I hope I was able to answer your question. I wrote a few more articles on Bihar elections, please have a look at them too. I would be glad to hear your views.