Coronavirus outbreak forces leaders to transcend party lines, coordinate on Twitter for welfare of migrant labourers stuck amid lockdown

This becomes interesting as social media, especially twitter has been a battleground for different ideologies, with contestation rather than consensus being the norm.

Shishir Tripathi March 27, 2020 17:33:39 IST
Coronavirus outbreak forces leaders to transcend party lines, coordinate on Twitter for welfare of migrant labourers stuck amid lockdown

On Friday morning, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav in a tweet, tagged Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala to seek help for some Bihar residents stranded in Haryana. Migrant labourers from Bihar were stuck in Karnal district of the state without food or water, and Yadav reached out to the BJP-led government seeking help for the workers.

Chautala responded within no time. He tweeted saying, "Due to lockdown all interstate transport is closed. DC Karnal will insure necessary arrangements and help will be provided."

Similarly, Yadav sought help from Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan for people belonging to Bihar, especially daily wage labourers, who were stranded at different locations due to the nationwide lockdown imposed in wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus outbreak forces leaders to transcend party lines coordinate on Twitter for welfare of migrant labourers stuck amid lockdown

Groups of daily wage labourers walk along an expressway in Delhi-NCR region hoping to reach their homes following a 21-day lockdown due to coronavirus. AP

In last one week, since the ‘Janta Curfew’ and the nationwide lockdown that followed it, there has been appreciable consensus and cooperation among leaders of different parties for providing relief to those in the need of help in these tough times. This becomes interesting as social media, especially twitter has been a battleground for different ideologies, with contestation rather than consensus being the norm.

Thus, it is interesting to see how leaders who used to target each other, even on issues of national importance, are using twitter to seek support and help each other.

While this cooperation at an intra-party level is obvious, it is the extremely considerate, quick and positive response even among political opponents that is a welcome change.

Consider this: On 26 March, Tejaswi Yadav, through a tweet, informed Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh that around 250 daily wage labourers are struck in Mohali, Punjab, without any food and are surviving only on water. Within two hours, all possible reached the stranded laborers and Yadav thanked Singh for the prompt response.

On Thursday BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi posted a tweet tagging Tejasvi Surya who is a Member of Parliament for Bengaluru South that a man belonging to her constituency lives in a paying guest accommodation in Bengaluru South and is without any food because of the lockdown. Within three hours Surya ensuerd help reached him and responded to Lekhi. "Based on the information received by you, we have ensured proper help to Akshay Pujari. Thank you for this information."

The promptness of response is motivating more and more people who are stranded due to lockdown to seek help through Twitter and other social media platforms and leaders cutting across all political parties are using it to ensure quick help reaches those in need. #IndiaFightsCoranvirus has emerged as a greater umbrella where political differences are set aside as politicians unite to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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