Lucknow: After the pan-India outrage, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ending his two days of dilemma to approve the Congress’s proposal to run 1,000 chartered buses to ferry migrant workers from state borders to their respective hometowns.
Interestingly, Yogi had attacked the Congress on Sunday for its proposal, saying the party should have rather helped the migrants stranded in Punjab and Rajasthan, both ruled by Congress. He had even blamed the Congress for the Auraiya incident of 16 May (in which 24 workers were killed and 48 injured as the trucks they were travelling in collided).
In a letter to the personal secretary of, the UP’s home secretary, Awanish Awasthi said, “With regards to Ms Vadra’s letter dated 16 May, we hereby inform that your proposal regarding migrant workers is being accepted. Please provide the list of 1,000 buses along with the details of drivers and conductors immediately so that we can utilise them for migrant labourers.”
Congress submitted the list to the government by evening. “The list of all 1,000 buses and staff are attached with the email. A few drivers are being verified again and their names will be shared with you within a few hours. All the buses will be ready at the borders tomorrow (Tuesday). Hope you share the details of routes and timetable with the people and transport them from tomorrow itself. We are thankful to the CM for accepting Ms Vadra’s proposal,” Priyanka’s personal secretary Sandeep Singh, a JNU alumnus, quickly responded.
The development came as a moral victory for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary of India’s main opposition party Congress. She had come up with this proposal Saturday last when a collision between two trucks in Auraiya district of UP killed 24 labourers on board leading to pan India outrage.
The accident prompted the Yogi government to seal state borders on Saturday night to curb the unrestricted inflow of trucks and jobless migrants. The government announced that it would start state transport buses, very few buses were pressed in service reportedly for the want of due procedure of medical screening.
This resulted in an unprecedented crisis on Sunday as India watched how lakhs of migrants and scores of trucks were pleading authorities to let them inside the State. They were headed to hometown after announcement of Lockdown 4.0.
Observers view the entire episode as a gain for Congress in UP and image loss for BJP and Yogi both.
Athar Hussain, Samajwadi Party leader, said, “We appreciate the Congress’s good gesture. As a national party, they wield more power than us to make things done.”
Political commentator SK Dwivedi says, “The entire lockdown period has highlighted BJP’s apathy towards poor migrants. It is good the Congress decided to do something constructive. In a crisis as big as Covid-19, all parties should come together and work in tandem.”
Political analyst Ramesh Dixit feels the move would help Congress’s revival in the state. “No party is bigger than state. There is no dearth of buses, but the lack of political will and sensitivity. BJP abandoned India’s most marginalised people and maximised the corona spread. The opposition gains on failure of rulers,” he said.
More accidents reported, Ghaziabad saw sea of migrants wanting to go home
Ghaziabad witnessed a sea of people on Monday for registration process to avail train services. “Over two lakh people surged at the centre breaking all norms of social distancing,” an official said. Collision of trucks killed two more people. Two Uttar Pradesh roadways buses also crashed midway causing injury to many.