Amid war of words, UP minister says scooters, autos in Priyanka's list of buses for migrants
A day after the Uttar Pradesh government accepted Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi's offer to arrange 1,000 buses to ferry migrant workers to their home districts, state minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Tuesday alleged that the buses had registration numbers of scooters, three-wheelers and goods carriers.
"In the preliminary checking of the numbers, it has been found that the numbers mentioned in the list as that of buses are actually of scooters, three-wheelers and goods carriers," PTI quoted the minister as saying.
Alleging that the Congress had become the 'farzivada' of Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi, Singh said they had no sympathy for the migrants and just wanted to politicise their issue.
The development comes amid a fresh war of words between Congress and the Uttar Pradesh administration after the government demanded that the party handover the 1,000 proposed buses to officials Lucknow by 10 am.
Shooting off a letter to UP Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi, Priyanka's private secretary Sandeep Singh an email was received from the UP official at 11.40 pm on Monday asking for the 1,000 buses to be handed over at Lucknow by 10 am on Tuesday.
"In a situation when thousands of workers are walking on the streets and thousands of people have gathered at the UP borders at various registration centres, sending 1,000 empty buses to Lucknow is not only a waste of time and resources but is also inhuman and the product of an anti-poor mindset," Singh said.
"This demand of your government seems politically motivated. It does not seem that your government wants to help our labourer brothers and sisters who are facing a disaster," the letter had said.
Soon after, the administration asked Priyanka Gandhi to provide the buses to the district magistrates of Ghaziabad and Noida.
In a letter to Priyanka's private secretary, Awasthi said, "As per your letter, you have expressed your inability to provide buses in Lucknow, and want to provide them in Ghaziabad and Noida. Please provide 500 buses to the District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, by 12 noon. The DM Ghaziabad has been informed about this. The district administration will receive all the buses and utilise them."
The letter said the buses should be provided at Kaushambi and Sahibabad bus stands. "500 buses should be provided to the District Magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar at the ground near the Expo Mart," the UP official said.
(Input and image from theindianexpress.com)