Pinarayi Vijayan and K. Surendran | Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives
Thiruvananthapuram: Both the Congress and the BJP on Sunday slammed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for failing to do anything to bring back Keralites who are stuck in various parts of the country, even as migrant labourers in the state have started to leave for their home states.
"While many migrant labourers from Bihar, Odisha and other states, who were stuck in Kerala after the lockdown came into force, have started making their way back in trains, many Keralites who for various reasons got stuck in other parts of the country, are still waiting to return. So is the case with Keralites stuck in the Middle East countries. It appears that the state government's responsibility is over after opening a website for these people to register to return. What happens today is only a blame game between the Centre and the State," said senior Congress legislator K.C. Joseph, a former State Minister for Diaspora Affairs in the Oommen Chandy government.
It was early this week that the state government opened a website and by now 3.98 lakh Keralites in 201 countries, and 1.38 lakh Keralaites within the country have registered from various states, wanting to return.
State BJP president K. Surendran told the media, here on Sunday that it's so surprising to see that the Kerala government has done nothing to get back its people stuck in various parts of the country and abroad.
"From May 1, the Centre has taken steps to operate special trains from various states in the country to get back its people, but Kerala appears to have done nothing in this regard. The Kerala Chief Secretary should have coordinated with his counterparts to get going, but nothing has happened so far. All that happens here is rhetoric. We wish the Pinarayi Vijayan government will act quickly," said Surendran.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has now started to put its act together and has asked those stuck outside the state to apply for pass so that they can enter the state through the borders, which it shares with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The state police, health and revenue departments have strengthened their staff in these borders.
All those arriving at the borders will be checked by the health department officials and those who are free from any symptoms will be asked to remain in isolation for 14 days at their homes, while those with symptoms would be sent to special centres.