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Delhi CM asks migrants to stay, assures them food, shelter

The statement came hours after the Union home ministry issued an advisory, asking states to ensure that landlords do not seek rent payments during this lockdown period and, industrialists and contractors pay wages.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020 06:34 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI)

Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged migrants not to leave the city because it would defeat the pupose of the 21-day national lockdown, while urging property owners not to force tenants to pay monthly rent, and urging factory owners and contractors to ensure the workers got food to eat despite work being stalled.

Kejriwal also warned those pressuring tenants and threatening them with eviction of strict action.

“I request the landlords — do not collect the rent, and postpone it if your tenants are poor and are unable to pay the rent. If your tenant fails to give the rent later, my government will compensate for it. But don’t harass them,” Kejriwal said at a digital press conference on Sunday.

The statement came hours after the Union home ministry issued an advisory, asking states to ensure that landlords do not seek rent payments during this lockdown period and, industrialists and contractors pay wages.



The chief minister reiterated his appeal to migrant workers to not cross the border to neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, warning that their action would impact the fight against Covid-19. He also appealed to his party volunteers to not indulge in any kind of politics, “even if other parties do.”

Besides the press conference, Kejriwal posted a note in Hindi on Twitter and also dedicated a special video message to all migrant workers, in which he assured them that they will be provided food and shelter in the Capital. On Saturday, over 100,000 had gathered at the Anand Vihar bus terminal to board buses to return home, from across the border in Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi.

“Some people are desperate to go to their villages. The Prime Minister has appealed to everyone that people should stay put where they are. I also appeal to all of you not to go to your villages and remain where you are. Gathering in such large numbers make you more vulnerable to contracting coronavirus. And then through you, the virus will reach your village and your family. It will reach different parts of the country. After this, it will become extremely difficult for the country to contain this epidemic,” Kejriwal wrote in the note.“I am assuring you that the Delhi government has arranged for your shelter and food. It is in the interest of the country that you do not go to your villages at the moment,” Kejriwal added.

On Saturday, too, Kejriwal had urged the migrants to stay back during the 21-day lockdown that was imposed from March 25, pointing out that his government was serving lunch and dinner to over 400,000 people in the city.

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