UP Politics: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on bus row, has this to say
Stating that this is not the time for politics, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that she doesn't want to question the Uttar Pradesh government over the bus row and said that her party can provide a new list of buses to transport migrant workers if needed.
New Delhi: Stating that this is not the time for politics, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that she doesn't want to question the Uttar Pradesh government over the bus row and said that her party can provide a new list of buses to transport migrant workers if needed.
"I do not want to raise a question over the State government. If the previous list provided by us consists of wrong registration numbers, we can provide a new list," said Gandhi in an online address here today.
This comes a day after UP Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said that the list of buses given by the Congress party to ferry migrant workers to their homes consists of many two-wheelers, autos, and goods carriers.
LIVE: AICC General Secretary Smt. @Priyankagandhi speaks on migrant crisis in UP. #पहले_मानवता_फिर_राजनीति https://t.co/SKnbhpv5p9— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2020
She said the Congress party had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offering to run 1,000 buses from Delhi-UP border to ferry migrant workers stranded there amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown back to their homes in the State.
"Next day, the Chief Minister announced that UP Roadways buses will be used to transport these migrant workers. However, the day after, we received a letter from the State government seeking a list of the buses, drivers' details and other documents. We thanked them for the opportunity and provided the list within a few hours," said Priyanka.
"Later the same day, we also received another letter asking to send these buses to Lucknow. To that, we responded saying that the buses are already on the Delhi-UP border. Driving empty buses to Lucknow will fail the purpose. Following that, the political issue started," she added.
Priyanka said that the Congress had earlier suggested to use UP Roadways buses to ferry migrant labourers back to their homes in the State.
My only request to the Chief Minister is to use these buses. If not, we will send them back like we had three days ago after your announcement: Smt. @priyankagandhi#पहले_मानवता_फिर_राजनीति— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2020
"On May 17, there were 500 buses in Gaziabad ready to ferry these migrant workers. If these buses were allowed to ply, around 36,000 people would've been home by yesterday, and the same number of people today as well," the Congress leader said.
She said that migrant workers, who are the backbone of the country, are struggling to get back to their homes amid the lockdown induced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"Pregnant women are walking up to 6-8 hours in this scorching heat. Some are carrying their children. Others are riding broken cycles. I saw a video an elderly man was carrying a child in a make-shift carrier on his shoulder," she said.
The buses have been there for 24 hours now. Please give us permission. Please put BJP flags or stickers if you want to but let these buses run. Until now, 92,000 people could have reached home: Smt. @priyankagandhi#पहले_मानवता_फिर_राजनीति— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2020
She said that the people of the country have a responsibility towards these people and urged political parties to set aside their differences and help those in need.
"UP Congress party had set up volunteer groups named 'Congress Ke Sipahi' in every district of the State after the lockdown was announced. We also set up helplines through these groups and have been distributing food and ration," said Priyanka.
"We have helped around 67 lakh people, of which 60 lakh people are in Uttar Pradesh alone while around seven lakh people are those stranded outside the State wanting to come back to their homes in the State," she added. (ANI)