India

UP govt asks Priyanka to send 1,000 buses to Ghaziabad, Noida

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The politics over providing 1,000 buses to the Uttar Pradesh government to transport the stranded migrant workers once again heated up on Tuesday morning as the state government asked the Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to send 500 buses each to Ghazaibad and Noida by 12 noon.

The development came soon after a senior Congress leader on Tuesday morning said that the Congress is sending buses to the state's border in Agra's Nagla point.

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Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Avneesh Kumar Awasthi in a letter to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's aide Sandeep Singh said, “As you don't want to send the buses to Lucknow, and want to handover the buses at Ghaziabad or Noida borders. So please handover 500 buses to the Ghaziabad District Magistrate by 12 noon.”

He also said that Ghaziabad District Magistrate has been apprised of the development and he will receive those buses and that will be used for transporting the stranded migrant workers. Awasthi further said that the buses need to be sent at the Ghazaiabd's Kaushambi and Sahibabad bus depots. The Additional Chief Secretary further said that the remaining 500 buses need to be sent to the Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate near the Expo mart in Noida.

He said the administration will check the fitness, permits and other documents of the buses and then use it immediately. After giving list of buses to be plied for the migrants labourers, Priyanka Gandhi shot a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary late on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday alleging that the whole episode emanating from the Chief Minister's office is nothing but politics and lacks intention of helping the poor migrants who are stranded at the state's border. The letter written early Tuesday at 2.10 a.m. alleged that a letter was received from Awasthi's office at 11.40 p.m. on late Monday night which said that all the buses should report in Lucknow by 10 a.m. on Tuesday is nothing but politics.

The letter written by Singh said that “When people are stranded at the UP border in Ghaziabad and Noida or various state entry points to register themselves it is a waste of resources to ask the buses to be sent to Lucknow. Sorry to say there is no intention to help the brothers and sisters who are walking on foot. The government is indulging in pure politics. As the Chief Minister is saying in a TV program that we are asking for a list from three days while your communication was received on Monday at 4.01 p.m.”

Earlier on Monday after a political row ensued over Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi extending an offer to run 1,000 buses for migrants to Uttar Pradesh and her personal secretary claiming to have given details of the buses and its drivers to the Uttar Pradesh government. The state government had asked for the list of the buses from the Congress.

Singh said, “All details of the 1,000 buses are attached with this e-mail. Out of them, few drivers will be reverified and those details will also be mailed to you in a few hours. I hope you will give permission for those buses to ply as soon as possible.”

Making a political point, Singh added that many labourers who are “the backbone of the country” are forced to walk hungry in the summer heat. Singh, however, asserted that the move by the Congress is an effort to play a “positive role”.

Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh Congress claimed to have submitted the list of 1,000 buses to the Yogi Adityanath government following which the state government sought details of the buses and drivers. On Monday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had slammed the Congress for not submitting the list of buses and playing ‘petty politics' on the migrant workers' issue.

–IANS

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