‘If Centre Wanted, Migrants Wouldn’t Have Suffered’: Ashok Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot talks to The Quint about Rajasthan’s fight against COVID, the migrant crisis and much more.

2 min read

Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj

As India enters phase six of coronavirus lockdown with Centre lifting restrictions in a phased manner, The Quint's Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia spoke with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on issues ranging from the easing of lockdown to the migrant crisis and Centre’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Attacking the Centre for its handling of the lockdown, the Rajasthan chief minister said that state of the economy has tanked because of Centre’s ineffective handling of the lockdown.

“Centralisation of powers does more harm than good. We gave a free hand to local administration in Rajasthan. The success of Bhilwara model is an example of that. We roped in Opposition parties, social services groups and doctors to help us fight us crisis. This not only helped us battle coronavirus but also ensured that nobody sleeps hungry. Migrants in Rajasthan didn’t suffer.
Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister

‘Divest Piyush Goyal of His Portfolio’

Gehlot said that the first year of Modi 2.0 was a failure, especially on the front of economy and India’s fight against COVID. “Opposition parties kept warning the government of the crisis, but they didn’t pay heed to them,” he added.

In a sharp attack against Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Rajasthan chief minister demanded an inquiry into alleged delays in Shramik Special trains.

“I request Prime Minister Modi to  make Piyush Goyal a minister without portfolio. He should be responsible for raising funds for BJP. Do not let him run the Railways.”
Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister

‘Migrants Will Not Want to Come Back’

Gehlot believes that after the hardships faced by migrants during the lockdown, they will not want to return to cities. “Had the government facilitated their travel back home or given the migrants more time to reach home before imposing the lockdown, they would have considered coming back,” Gehlot said.

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