The Bengal government has extended the date for the registration of migrant labourers at Duare Sarkar camps to September 30 as not even half of the expected names were recorded.
“The number of migrants who registered with the government till Thursday is 7.56 lakh. The government felt that the figure could be much more than that. Hence, the registration of migrant labourers will continue till September 30. It is expected that the figure will reach 15 lakh by then,” said a senior government official.
Initially, Duare Sarkar camps were scheduled to be held from September 1 to 16. But as the number of migrant workers registered with the government was not “satisfactory”, the top brass of the government decided to extend the date for the purpose till the end of the month.
Sources have said the government is keen to get the details of all those people who left Bengal in search of livelihood as they hold the key to electoral success in many minority-dominated districts like Malda, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad and Birbhum.
The initiative to get the details of migrant labourers gained momentum after the Trinamul Congress had lost the bypoll to the Sagardighi Assembly segment in Murshidabad district a few months ago. After the ruling party lost the bypoll, questions were raised about whether Trinamul was losing a portion of its minority support base.
Although a thumping win in all the Muslim-dominated districts in the recent panchayat polls established that Trinamul's minority support base was intact, the ruling establishment apparently does not want to take any chance ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and aims to reach out to as much migrant labourers as possible.
“A rough estimate says that there could be more than 30 lakh migrant workers from Bengal. So, the registration of 7.56 lakh migrant workers did not make the ruling establishment happy,” said a source.
Home secretary B.P. Gopalika held a meeting on September 13 to ensure that more and more migrant labourers registered at the Duare Sarkar camps. He asked the district magistrates to make more effort to reach out to the family members of the migrant labourers who were not present in the state.