The political row over buses for migrants has escalated as the Uttar Pradesh government registered a case of fraud and forgery against Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s personal secretary Sandeep Singh and state Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu.
Priyanka Gandhi and Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh are engulfed in a bitter ‘bus war’ since Saturday after the Congress leader wrote to the CM to seek permission to hire and run 1,000 buses in the state to safely transport the returnees.
However, around 980 buses returned to Bharatpur, Alwar and other parts of Rajasthan after UP government did not give permission to enter into the state
This came after the UP government said that they did not get the list of the buses from the Congress.
After the Congress submitted the list of 1,000 buses on Monday, the state government released the letter sent to Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accepting her offer.
After giving list of buses to be plied for the migrants labourers Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi shot a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary Avneesh Kumar Awasthi and had alleged 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 UP border.
The letter written early Tuesday at 2.10 am alleged that a letter was received from the Additional Chief Secretary Avneesh Awasthi’s office at 11.40 pm on late Monday night said that all the buses should report in Lucknow by 10 am on Tuesday is nothing but politics.
The letter written by Sandeep Singh personal aide of Priyanka Gandhi said that “when people are stranded at UP border in Ghaziabad and Noida or various state entry points to register themselves it is 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 TV program that we are asking list from three days while your communication was received on Monday at 4.01 pm.”
The politics over buses for migrants 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.
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.
In a fresh allegation, the UP government on Tuesday claimed that the list of buses submitted to the state government by the Congress for carrying migrant workers includes registration numbers of cars, scooters and autos.
Uttar Pradesh Minister and government spokesman Siddhartha Nath Singh told reporters that the Congress deserved condemnation for this kind of ‘fraud and forgery’.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi should respond to the actions of her children, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi. It is unforgivable that a political party should resort to this kind of petty politics in the name of migrant workers. The Congress owes an apology to the nation,” he said.
Following this, the Lucknow Police on Tuesday registered a case of fraud and forgery against Sandeep Singh and Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu.
Meanwhile, as many as 9 letters have been exchanged between the UP government and Priyanka Gandhi over the issue of transportation of migrants.
In the latest attack, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government accusing it of “crossing all limits” and asking it to put “BJP banners” on the buses, but not reject the help for the migrant workers.
In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi, who is also in-charge of the party’s eastern UP, said: “The state government has crossed all the limits. When we got a chance to sideline political differences to help the migrant workers, all kinds of obstacles have been created.
“Yogi Adityanath ji, if you want, then put up BJP banners and posters on the buses, but don’t reject our services because three days have been wasted in this political nonsense and in those days, many migrants have lost their lives.”
In her tweet, Priyanka Gandhi also tagged a video of Congress workers arguing with the UP police at the state’s borders, asking them to allow the buses.
Again on Tuesday, she said that out of 1,049 buses, 879 have been found fit by the Uttar Pradesh government and the party will provide 200 more buses on Wednesday. She also urged the UP government not to delay the bus services for the stranded migrant workers willing to go back to their homes.
Meanwhile, in the latest development, even as the Congress managed to move buses to Noida for the migrants, they were stopped by the police in Sector 39 area.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Commmitee (UPCC) office bearer and former MLA of Shamli, Pankaj Malik said: “Our leader Priyanka Gandhi has promised to provide 1,000 buses and we are ready at various entry points in the state, but the BJP is doing politics. This is high time to help the migrants.”
Meanwhile, Sandeep Singh, the personal aide of Priyanka Gandhi has written another letter on late Tuesday that the buses which are stranded at various entry points will wait for Uttar Pradesh government’s nod till 4 pm on Wednesday.