Priyanka Tweets 2nd Video Message, Asks UP Govt to Let Buses Enter
On Saturday, Priyanka Gandhi had written to CM Adityanath to give permission to ply 1000 buses for the migrants.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday, 20 May, once again took to Twitter to post a video message requesting the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to allow the buses arranged by the Congress for migrant workers to enter Uttar Pradesh.
“We'll have to understand our responsibilities. They (migrant labourers walking to return to their native states) aren't just Indians but India's spinal cord. The country runs on their blood and sweat. It's everyone's responsibility. It's not the time for politics,” she said.
“At 4 PM it will be 24 hours since the buses were made available. If you want to use it, do it. Give us permission. If you want to use BJP party flags and stickers on buses then do it. If you want to say that you made those buses available, do it. But let the buses run,” she added.
The tug of war between the Yogi Adityanath government and Priyanka Gandhi over buses arranged by the Congress for Uttar Pradesh migrants continued after a marathon exchange of letters on Monday and Tuesday.
The 48-Hour Drama
The exchange of letters between Priyanka Gandhi and the state authorities continued overnight as follows:
On 18 May, the UP government in a letter to Priyanka Gandhi officially gave permission to deploy 1,000 buses to ferry migrants and sought details of the vehicles including their numbers, drivers, etc.
However, hours later, a UP government official wrote to Gandhi asking the buses to be handed over at Lucknow today. In response, Sandeep Singh, Priyanka Gandhi's private secretary, wrote back at 2 am on 19 May and questioned why buses should travel empty from the borders all the way to Lucknow.
At 11 am on Tuesday, the UP government wrote to Gandhi amending its earlier instructions and asking for 500 buses to be sent to Kaushambhi bus station in Ghaziabad and the other 500 to Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) near Expo Mart ground by 12 pm.
In response, Gandhi’s office said that the buses can reach Noida and Ghaziabad only by 5 pm, citing permits.
However, the Yogi Adityanath government has now alleged that the list of buses submitted to the state government by the Congress includes registration numbers of cars, scooters and autos.
In a fresh letter on 19 May (3.45 pm), Priyanka Gandhi asked for the buses arranged by the Congress party to be given permission by authorities to enter the state at the earliest so that they can reach Noida and Ghaziabad.
An FIR was registered against Priyanka Gandhi’s private secretary and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu for ‘fraud and forgery’ over incorrect details of buses.
Yogi Govt Alleges ‘Fraud’, Congress Slams Politicking
After alleging that the list of buses submitted includes registration numbers of cars, scooters and autos, Uttar Pradesh Minister and government spokesman Siddhartha Nath Singh told reporters that the Congress deserved condemnation for this kind of 'fraud and forgery'.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi should respond to the actions of her children, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi. It is unforgivable that a political party should resort to this kind of petty politics in the name of migrant workers. The Congress owes an apology to the nation,” Singh told reporters.
The minister further said that it was because of this that the Uttar Pradesh government had sought details of the vehicles when the Congress sought permission to provide buses to ferry the migrants.
The state Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu said that some numbers may have been wrongly written but the party is committed to provide 1,000 buses.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted to say that the Yogi government is hungry for credit at the cost of the sufferings of the poor.
“600 buses sponsored by Congress Party have been stopped at Agra, preventing them from taking poor & suffering migrants back home. Is BJP so hungry for credit/discredit that they will allow the poor to suffer like this?”, he tweeted.
The claims were also rebutted by other Congress leaders on social media. Congress National Secretary Rohit Chaudhary tweeted a video claiming that he was standing at the Agra border with 500 buses.
On Saturday, 16 May, Gandhi had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to give permission to ply 1,000 buses for the migrants after an accident occurred in Auraiya, where 24 people lost their lives.
Gandhi, who is also in charge of party affairs in eastern Uttar Pradesh, said that the Congress will bear the cost of these chartered buses at a time when the migrants are finding it tough to return home safely.
“Lakhs of workers are trying to get back to their homes while walking from various parts of the country and there are not enough arrangements made for them. We wish to operate 500 buses each from Ghazipur and Noida borders,” Priyanka Gandhi had said in the letter to CM Adityanath.
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