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Migrant workers: no vote, no voice?

May 21, 2020 18:03 IST

As migrant workers scramble to make sense of registration forms for migrants online, 70 million migrant workforce remain affected by the coronavirus lockdown across India. Is it due to the fact they are a largely absent voting block due to economic migration and therefore, not of importance to the government? Would their voices we taken seriously if their votes had more power? Yashwant Deshmukh, Editor, CVoter points out how most rural migrants have voter IDs registered back home, often for legal reasons. They vote when election cycles coincide with harvesting season, otherwise they don't go back to vote. Ashok Bhattacharya, Editorial Director, Business Standard points out that it is incredible that no department in the government of India, led by any ruling party, recognizes the need to monitor and ensure all necessary support systems are made available to a chunk as large as 70 million migrant workers. BOOM's Govindraj Ethiraj interviews Yashwant Deshmukh and Ashok Bhattacharya on why institutional planning and concern for migrant workers may be dependent on the power of their votes.