Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik on Wednesday slammed the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka governments for adopting an uncooperative approach in taking back migrant workers hailing from the two states. Malik said that such a problem has not arisen with other states like Bihar, Rajasthan and another BJP-ruled state, Madhya Pradesh.

“They are creating new hurdles. There are no such problems in case of other states like Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal though.”

“The process (of sending back migrants) has been smooth in the case of these states,” Malik said.

The NCP leader alleged that the Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka governments either don’t want the people hailing from their states to return or are deliberately creating hurdles so that out of job workers do not go back in big numbers.

The Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka government should understand that the migrant workers are not ready mentally to stay back in Maharashtra and want to return to their native states, Malik said.

The NCP minister said the Maharashtra government has been sending the applications received from migrant workers to the nodal officers of their respective native districts. Once the nodal officers (of the native districts) concerned approve the applications, the workers are sent back either by trains or private vehicles following their medical tests, Malik added.

The opposition on Wednesday accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Karnataka of indulging in “medieval barbarism” and treating migrants like “bonded labourers”, after state’s decision to stop workers from returning to their homes in different parts of the country citing requirements of the construction sector.

Earlier in the day, the Karnataka government withdrew its request to the Railways to run special trains to ferry migrant labourers to their home states, hours after builders met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to apprise him of the problems the construction sector will face in case they left.