Cong, UP govt in letter war over buses to shift migrants

May 19, 2020
New Delhi: Amid the raging politics over providing 1,000 buses to transport stranded migrant workers to their native places, the Congress, here on Tuesday, again wrote to UP Additional Chief Secretary Avneesh Kumar Awasthi seeking permission to bring the buses standing at the state’s border near Agra to Noida and Ghaziabad.

In a letter to Awasthi, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s personal aide Sandeep Singh said, “You have asked us to bring the buses to Noida and Ghaziabad in the letter sent to us at 11.05 a.m. today (Tuesday).”

“For the last three hours, the buses are at Ucha Nagala in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, near Agra. The administration is not allowing us to enter the state. We again urge you that it’s time to show sensitivity,” he said and added, give the permission for our buses to reach Noida and Ghaziabad.

Earlier in the day, Singh had written to Awasthi to give time till 5 p.m. to bring the buses to the Ghaziabad and Noida borders.

This followed Awasthi’s letter to Priyanka Gandhi to handover the 1,000 buses to the District Magistrates of Ghaziabad and Noida by 12 noon.

Stating that several buses are in Delhi and Rajasthan and permits are being acquired, Singh told the Additional Chief Secretary, “We will need some more time to get the permits and the buses will be handed over to the state government by 5 p.m.”

Earlier in the morning, the state government asked Priyanka Gandhi to send 500 buses each to Ghazaibad and Noida by 12 noon. Awasthi in his letter to Priyanka Gandhi’s aide said, “As you don’t want to send the buses to Lucknow, and want to hand them over at Ghaziabad or Noida borders, please hand over 500 buses to the Ghaziabad District Magistrate by 12 noon at Kaushambi and Sahibabad bus depots. And the rest 500 buses to Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate near the Expo Mart in Noida.”

Awasthi said the administration would check the fitness, permits and other documents of buses and use them immediately.

However, the UP government earlier in the day alleged the list of buses submitted by the Congress included registration numbers of cars, scooters and autos.

UP government spokesman Siddhartha Nath Singh said in Lucknow 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, he added.

Meanwhile, the Congress released the video of buses standing at the state’s border near Agra.

On the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi after giving the list of buses shot a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary alleging the Chief Minister’s Office was playing politics over poor migrants.

The letter, written at 2.10 a.m, she said a missive received from Awasthi’s office at 11.40 p.m. on Monday said the buses should report at Lucknow by 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

On Monday, Priyanka Gandhi’s personal secretary claimed to have sent details of buses and their drivers to the UP government as demanded by the state government.