After a spat over ferrying migrant workers, Congress general secretary on Monday evening thanked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for allowing around 1,000 buses arranged by the Congress to transport stranded migrants from UP-Rajasthan border, near Mathura, to their home districts in UP.
Taking to Twitter, Priyanka said, “Yogi Adityanath Ji, in this time of pandemic saving the lives of people, protecting the poor and respecting their dignity is our moral responsibility and right. In this tough time, Congress is trying to fulfil its duty with full strength and devotion… We are thankful for allowing the buses, arranged by the Congress, to ferry the migrant workers, who have been walking to reach their homes.”
“We assure you from our Congress party that we will help our brothers and sisters affected by the pandemic through our constructive approach,” she added.
Priyanka’s tweet came after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told a news channel that he has been asking the Congress to provide a list of the 1,000 buses that it says have been kept ready to ferry migrants from the UP border. “I am yet to get the list. I would like to tell the Congress leaders that during this pandemic, they should not do petty politics.
The need of the hour is sympathy and sensitivity towards the migrant labourers,” he added. The Chief Minister said that along with the list of the 1,000 buses, if a list of the migrant labourers is also provided, “we will definitely permit them (to come to Uttar Pradesh)”.
Soon, UP Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi wrote to Priyanka’s personal secretary referring to the Congress leader’s May 16 letter to the CM seeking permission to ferry migrants from the UP border. “Thus without any delay, make available the list of the 1,000 buses along with the list of drivers and co-drivers, their name and other details so that they can be used for the services to the migrant labourers,” Awasthi wrote.
Priyanka Gandhi’s office replied to the UP government giving details of the buses and drivers. “We will get the buses ready at the border again tomorrow. I am attaching the list of 1,000 buses along with this letter. We will in some hours sent another list of drivers after their re-verification. We hope that you will give permission for these buses at the earliest,” her private secretary Sandeep Singh wrote in the letter.
In a late night communication sent to Priyanka, Awasthi sought fitness certificates of all the buses, driving licences of the drivers and complete details of the conductors, by 10 am Tuesday.
Meanwhile, through an official Twitter handle of Yogi Adityanath office, the Chief Minister posed some questions “on behalf of the migrant workers” to the Congress, asking if the party had the buses, then “why our friends are being sent to UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from Rajasthan and Maharashtra in trucks?” “Will Congress and Priyanka Gandhi take the responsibility of Auraiya incident, where migrant labourers were killed from a truck from Punjab and Rajasthan?”, he tweeted.
Earlier in the day also Adityanath had shifted blame for the road accident in Auraiya, in which 26 migrant labourers were killed, on the Congress governments in Punjab and Rajasthan.
Speaking to a news channel, Adityanath said, “In the unfortunate accident that took place in Auraiya, the Congress leadership should understand that one truck (involved in it) was from Rajasthan, while the other was coming from Punjab. A hefty amount of money was taken from the migrant labourers, who were returning to Bihar and Jharkhand. What were they (Congress) doing then? You will exploit people and then put up an honest face.”
He said the Hindi idiom, “Sau chuhe khaakar, billi Haj ko chali (a cat seeking salvation after consuming 100 rats)”, fits on the Congress today. “This is the shameful face of the Congress. I condemn the Congress leadership for making fun of the migrant labourers,” the CM said.
Priyanka hit back posting a video of a large number of migrant workers assembled in Ghaziabad to register their names for availing the special train services to UP. “The UP government is not able to do anything properly. Had they planned it a month ago, such a situation had not arisen. Yesterday, we arranged 1,000 buses and deployed it at the border, but the UP government saw politics in it and did not even grant permission to ply the buses. The government is neither willing to help nor taking the help offered to it to mitigate the problems faced by people,” she had tweeted.
—With PTI inputs
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