Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to provide Onam festival kits, containing vegetables and provisions for a feast, to all migrant labourers in the State free of charge as a good will gesture. It allocated Rs. 10 crore for providing the Onam gift to be distributed by the Labour Department from Saturday.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media persons after the Cabinet meeting that the Onam gift would be an expression of love and good sentiments of Malayalees towards the migrant workers and an assurance that they were part of the populace of the State. “We want the workers from other States to celebrate and enjoy Onam with people of the State.”
Mr. Chandy said that the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had called him over phone against the background of exodus of people belonging to north-eastern State from Southern States and he (Mr. Chandy) had assured him that they would be safe in Kerala. “The government will not let anyone to intimidate or attack them.”
He noted that some people in the country were deliberately trying to stir up problems. However, the State would uphold patriotism and unity of the country.
Asked about the role allegedly played by the Popular Front of India in creating panic among the employees and workers from the North-east, the Chief Minister said that there were some complaints and doubts. The government was examining them. If anyone was found to have done so, stringent action would be taken.