Bringing back Indian students important, but PM busy in UP poll meetings: Mamata
Varanasi: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being busy in poll meetings in Uttar Pradesh while Indians are stranded in war-hit Ukraine.
Addressing a rally here, while campaigning for the Samajwadi Party (SP) for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, she also accused the Centre of leaving Indians in Ukraine on their own in the midst of a raging war. "Look what is happening right now. There is a war underway in Ukraine and Modi is doing meetings here (in the state). What is important? Isn't bringing back our Indian students important?" Banerjee said.
"If you (Modi) have such good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and knew three months in advance that a war would break out, why did you not bring back Indians (from Ukraine)," the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said.
Campaigning for the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP in Prime Minister Modi's parliamentary constituency, she also slammed the Centre, saying it is asking Indians in the strife-torn nation to come back on their own.
"Somebody is sleeping in bunkers, others are living without food and water and Modi ji, your government is instructing them to come back on their own. This cannot happen," Banerjee said.
Meanwhile, four evacuation flights with 798 Indians from the Romanian capital Bucharest, Hungary's Budapest and Polish city Rzeszow landed at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad early on Thursday as India's 'Operation Ganga' mission continued to bring people back home from Ukraine.
While Banerjee spoke at the joint rally of opposition parties in Varanasi, Modi addressed election meetings in Jaunpur and Chanduali in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, where polling is scheduled on March 7.
She also slammed the Centre over the handling of the Covid pandemic and the exodus of migrant workers from big towns due to the lockdown imposed by the government in 2020.
Many people walked hundreds of miles on foot and were left without any resources, Banerjee said, adding that her government in West Bengal had made provisions to help such persons from her state to reach their homes.