UP govt, Congress bus war turns bitter UPCC chief held for staging dharna

| | Lucknow
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UP govt, Congress bus war turns bitter UPCC chief held for staging dharna

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 | PNS | Lucknow



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The twitter war between Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over permission for operating buses to ferry migrant workers to their homes took a turn for the worse with the arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu in Agra and lodging of an FIR against Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s personal secretary Sandeep Singh and the UPCC chief in Lucknow for furnishing wrong details about buses.
A government spokesman said that Ajay Kumar Lallu, who was staging a dharna at Agra, was arrested while FIR was lodged under sections 420/467/468 of the Indian Penal Code for furnishing false details about the buses which had been made available by Congress for the UP government to ferry migrant workers.
In a joint statement, Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) Lucknow, Pudendu Singh and Lucknow RTO RP Dwivedi said that verification of the list of buses provided by the Congress showed that over 100 registration numbers were of tempos, ambulances or taxis.
“By verification through data base of vehicles available on NIC site, it was confirmed that out of 1049 registration numbers given by Congress, 879 are of buses, 31 of auto/three-wheeler, 69 of other vehicles while there is no record available of 70 registration numbers,” they said.
The government further claimed that out of the above 879 buses, 79 did not have fitness certificate, the insurance of 140 buses had expired while 78 did not have both insurance and fitness certificate.
“The Congress has played a fraud as telling lies is in the DNA of the party and the Congress leaders have fooled people to get political mileage out of this crisis,” UP government spokesman Sidharth Nath Singh said in a statement.
He said the government was within its right to ask for fitness certificates of the buses, the list of which was provided by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
“The ghotala came to the fore in that list,”  Singh said.
Enraged by the accusation of giving the registration numbers of autos and two-wheelers in the list of buses, veteran Congress leader and former parliamentarian Pramod Tiwari said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to malign the Congress and in such a situation, his party would file a defamation suit.
However, he also appealed that instead of playing dirty politics at this hour of medical emergency, the state government should give first priority to allowing the buses provided by the Congress to ferry migrants stranded on UP borders. 
Addressing media persons at the UPCC office here on Tuesday, Tiwari said that party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had on Saturday written a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, asking for permission for operating 1,000 buses for helping the migrant workers.
“But even after four days, the buses did not ply while the UP cabinet is hurling wild charges at the Congress. The list we gave pertained to bus details and no list came from the CM office saying that the details were not of buses,” he said.
“Thousands of anxious migrants have gathered at borders and now the government wants the buses to come to Lucknow and then send them to borders. Technical checks of buses can be conducted in Noida or Ghaziabad too. Congress only wants to help these workers,” he said, and added, “We haven’t put any flag or photo on the buses. Congress only wants to help migrant workers through buses.”
Tiwari said that the Rajasthan Transport Corporation buses were not allowed to enter Uttar Pradesh.
Actually, there is no dearth of buses. The problem lies with the government’s policy and intention. Even if it permits these buses today, they can help the needy reach their homes. Our objective is clear. The party arranged for tickets for migrants stranded in various states and we are still doing the same,” he said.
The former MP further said, “It is obnoxious that during a national emergency, Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi wrote to the office of Priyanka Gandhi at 11:40 pm on Monday asking Congress leaders to provide buses with fitness certificates, papers, names of drivers, their driving licences at Vrindavan grounds in Lucknow at 10 am on Tuesday.
“At 2:10 am on Tuesday, Priyanka’s private secretary Sandeep Singh mailed back to Awasthi saying that it was inhuman in a way. Later on Tuesday morning, the CM said that the buses should be handed over in Noida, Ghaziabad by 12 noon. Is  the government working at cross purposes,” the Congress veteran asked.
The Congress leader alleged that now when the buses were reaching the border, the local administration was saying that they had not received any information from the higher authorities.

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