After agreeing to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s offer to provide 1,000 buses to take migrant workers home, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has set riders that the Congress party says are unacceptable.
In a late night letter to Priyanka Gandhi, Congress general secretary, a top Uttar Pradesh government official asked the opposition party to hand over all the buses, along with fitness certificates and driving licenses of all bus drivers, at state capital Lucknow by 10 am on Tuesday.
The Congress’s response followed promptly, at 2.10 am.
In a letter to the UP government, Sandeep Singh, Priyanka Gandhi’s private secretary, called the move “totally influenced by politics” and questioned what purpose would be served in making the buses travel empty from the state’s borders, where they are right now, to Lucknow for a formal handover.
Earlier on Monday, the UP government agreed to Priyanka Gandhi’s video request to run 1,000 buses for migrants stranded by the coronavirus lockdown, left jobless in various cities and desperate to go home. The Congress party sourced the buses from Rajasthan, where the party is in power.
Priyanka Gandhi had posted her appeal to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Twitter after a string of accidents involving migrant workers in the state, including one on Saturday in the state’s Auraiya district, where 26 workers died in a truck accident.
The UP government had then said no worker would be allowed to walk, cycle or take trucks to get home. This led to a pile-up pf workers at the state’s border.
In her appeal, Priyanka Gandhi said: “Respected Chief Minister, I am requesting you, this is not the time for politics. Our buses are standing at the border. Thousands of labourers and migrants are walking towards their homes without food or water and after fighting all troubles. Let us help them. Give permission to our buses.” said Ms Gandhi Vadra.
Soon after accepting Priyanka Gandhi’s offer, Yogi Adityanath asked states for details on migrants and claimed his government was organizing 12,000 buses to get them workers home from different state borders.