Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday to allow her party to ply buses to ferry stranded migrants to their homes amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. She said this is not the time to play politics but to help people, especially migrant labourers, suffering due to the lockdown.
In a 10-minute video message released on Congress social media handles, Gandhi told Adityanath that the 1,000-odd buses made available by the party would remain where they are till 4 PM Wednesday and that he should use them and allow permission to ply them to help ferry migrants to their homes safely.
"At 4 PM it will be 24 hrs since the buses were made available. If you want to use it, do it. Give us permission. If you want to use BJP party flags and stickers on buses then do it. If you want to say that you made those buses available, do it. But let the buses run."
"We'll have to understand our responsibilities. They (migrant labourers walking to return to their native states) aren't just Indians but India's spinal cord. The country runs on their blood and sweat. It's everyone's responsibility. It's not the time for politics." she said in her video message.
She noted that till the time the issue got embroiled in politics, at least 92,000 migrants who are walking on the roads in this heat, without water and food, could have reached home safely by now.
In her message to migrant labourers, she said Congress workers and leaders are standing by their side in this time of crisis and will help them in every possible manner as per their capacity and provide them food too.
Meanwhile, taking Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) line, rebel Congress MLA Aditi Singh targeted Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, claiming that the list of 1,000 buses given by Congress, half of them fake or junked.
"When UP Govt looked into the list of buses provided by Congress, it turned out that many vehicles are autorickshaw, two-wheelers and three-wheelers. Congress is wasting the time of govt officials by providing bogus list and creating political pressure," Singh said while speaking to ANI.
Thousands of migrants are walking to their homes amid the lockdown and the Congress party in UP and the UP government are locked in a tussle over plying of buses provided by the Congress for ferrying migrants home.
(With inputs from agencies)