Highlighting the plight of migrant workers walking on foot to their native places, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday urged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to give permission to the buses arranged by her party to transport them or else it will send them back.
Addressing a press conference over the politics over the buses to ferry the migrant workers, Priyanka Gandhi said, “For the last few days we have seen that migrant workers have been walking without any food and any proper mode of transportation. They are coming from several parts of the country and travelling hundreds of kilometers. Even many pregnant women are walking for over eight hours a day, while some people are carrying their children and parents on their shoulders.”
She said that during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis everyone needs to learn their responsibilities.
“They are not only people of country, but they are the backbone of the country who have made the buildings and cities,” she said. Reiterating the offer of providing 1,000 buses to the Uttar Pradesh government, the Congress leader, who is also party in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said, “Our buses have been standing at the Uttar Pradesh borders. They will remain there till 4 p.m. If you want to use them, then give permission or they will be brought back.”
She also said if the BJP wants to use these buses with their own stickers and posters, the Congress has no objection to it as its only motive is to help the migrant workers. She also said that in the last three days, since the time when the buses have been standing at the Uttar Pradesh borders, over 92,000 people have been ferried to their native places. “But now we can see that the same people are walking on foot to their homes,” she said.
She also mentioned the letter war with the Uttar Pradesh government and said, “I have written to the Chief Minister proposing to provide 1,000 buses. But initially the Chief Minister said that we don’t need buses as it already has over 12,000 buses. But then next day we received a letter from the Uttar Pradesh government to provide the details of the buses, which we shared with them. Out of 1,000 buses, some were not fit, to which also we agreed to provide other buses,” she said.
“However, for the last three days the buses have been standing at the Uttar Pradesh border adjoining Rajasthan and in Delhi and waiting for the permission,” she said. Her remarks came amid the bus politics heating up for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
Emphasising that it is not the time for petty politics, she said, “It is important that all political parties should help the people. And UP Congress with the motive of helping migrant workers after the announcement of lockdown formed a volunteer group and also started running community kitchens in several parts of the state.”
She said that the Congress has till date distributed food to over 67 lakh people in Uttar Pradesh. Out of these 67 lakh, 60 lakh are from Uttar Pradesh while seven lakh are from other states, she said.
Sand mafia in Punjab worth Rs 20,000 crore: Kejriwal
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the sand mafia in Punjab alone runs illegal business of over Rs 20,000 crore.
There are serious allegations of direct involvement of ruling Congress MLAs, their ministers and their close associates, including the Chief Minister himself.
Kejriwal was responding to the queries of the media persons on his arrival at Sri Guru Ramdas Ji International Airport here. He was on a day-long visit to Punjab for participation in party programmes.
He said when allegations of involvement of the Congress MLAs and ministers, including the Chief Minister, in sand mafia and many other illegal activities are being levelled, then who will protect the interests of the general public?
“Who will save the interest of Punjab? To whom will the common people go for justice? Can the welfare of Punjab and the people of Punjab be expected from such mafia and patrons of mafia state?”
Kejriwal said earlier the Badals and the BJP had looted the state by patronizing all sorts of mafia during their regime.
In 2017, people expressed their faith in the promises made by the Congress and the Captain (Amarinder Singh), but they too followed the footsteps of the Badals.
He said according to an estimate, illegal trade of Rs 20,000 crore per annum in sand and gravel mining alone was going on in Punjab. This money can be used for the welfare of the people, but it is going into the pockets of the leaders instead of the government coffers.
Kejriwal promised that with the formation of the AAP government in 2022, all sorts of mafia, including illegal sand mining, would be shut down.
The money that is going into the pockets of political leaders from the resources of the state due to mafia rule will go to the needy pockets of mothers, sisters and the elderly.
RS adjourned for the day amid Oppn ruckus
Amid Opposition ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, no business could be conducted on Tuesday as the House was adjourned for the day.
After the proceedings began at 11 a.m., the House was first adjourned till 2 p.m. and then till 3 p.m. It was finally adjourned for the day as the discussion on the surrogacy bill started.
Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of the suspension of 12 MPs from the House and RJD MP Manoj Jha too raised a point of order, but was rejected by the Chair.
Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav also raised a point of order that Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was speaking from other seat, and following sloganeering the deputy chairman adjourned the House for the day.
The faceoff continued with the Treasury Bench demanding an apology from the suspended protesting MPs which is bring denied as the opposition insist that they are not at fault.
“The suspension of the MPs is against Constitution as the incident is of previous session as the house was adjourned its wrong to suspend them in Winter session,” Kharge said.
Earlier, the opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar, joined the protesting MPs and Kharge said that the opposition will join the MPs and observe fast for a day.
Kharge, floor leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and other Opposition MPs protested in support of the suspended MPs in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament House.
The suspended MPs are Syed Naseer Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora and Rajmani Patel of the Congress; Priyanka Chaturvedi, Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena; Elamaram Kareem of the CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of the CPI; and Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool Congress.
Rahul Gandhi demands compensation for families dead farmers
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded compensation for families of the farmers who lost their lives during the protests against the three farm laws which has now been withdrawn by the Central government.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi further said that around 700 farmers died during the protests and requested the Centre to pay compensation and give government jobs to the family members.
He also said that the Punjab government has already given financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased and also provided jobs.
“I want the farmers to be given their rights, they should be given compensation as well as jobs, the Punjab government has given Rs 5 lakh compensation for around 400 farmers and also provided jobs for 152 of them,” he said.
The Congress MP also claimed that he had a list of the names of the dead farmers and will produce it in the House.
“We have made another list of 70 farmers from Haryana which I will also lay in the House,” he said.
“The Prime Minister apologised to the nation and the farmers. He also accepted that he made a mistake. On November 30, Agricultural Minister (Narendra Singh Tomar) was asked a question – how many farmers died in the agitation? He said he doesn’t have any data.”
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha seeking compensation for the families of the dead farmers but was turned down by the Speaker.
The government in its earlier reply to a question, said that it has not kept track of farmers who lost their lives in the agitation and hence the question of compensation does not arise.
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