Defending his party amid the tussle with UP CM Yogi Adityanath over 1000 buses for ferrying migrants, Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot has said that UP government is showing it's the real face. Denying claims that the Grand old party is playing politics, he said that the party's chief Sonia Gandhi initially wanted to pay for the train tickets of the migrants. He said that all parties should come together to help the migrants amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "Migrants are the ones who built this country. Now we are unable to safeguard their lives, are we then performing our duty honestly? I am very sad that the UP govt is continuously trying to disrupt the buses arranged by my party. First, they didn't allow, then they said buses do not have registration. We are seeing how migrants are travel"ling in trucks, in containers, is that allowed. UP govt should give permission, we as a political party want to work together, UP govt is showing their real face by blocking the buses. We are not doing any politics. Sonia Gandhi ji had initially declared that Congress will pay for their tickets, they should welcome our efforts. Unfortunately, the Centre is on backfoot regarding the movement of migrants and poor are bearing the cost."
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu was arrested by Agra Police from the Agra-Rajasthan border in Uncha Nangla area where he had staged a sit-in protest demanding that buses his party had arranged to ferry back migrants to their homes, be allowed to enter Uttar Pradesh.
"A case is being registered under sections 188 and 269 of IPC and Epidemic Act in the Fatehpur Sikri Police station in connection with the incident. Two persons - Ajay Singh Lallu and Vivek Bansal - have been arrested," SSP Babloo Kumar said. Earlier, an FIR was also registered against Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's personal secretary Sandeep Singh and party's Uttar Pradesh chief Lallu in Hazratganj Police station of Lucknow on Tuesday.
On May 16, Priyanka Vadra wrote to UP CM Yogi Adityanath, urging him to permit the Congress party to run 1,000 buses to ferry migrant workers back to their native place. The UP administration accepted this request on Monday, asking the opposition party to send the buses to Lucknow by 10 am on Tuesday. However, Vadra's private secretary Sandeep Singh stated that sending empty buses to Lucknow was "inhuman" at a time when thousands of workers had gathered at the borders of UP.
Thereafter, UP Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi asked the Congress party to send 500 buses each to Kaushambi, Sahibabad bus stands in Ghaziabad, and the ground near the Expo Mart in Gautam Buddh Nagar where they will be handed over to the respective District Magistrates. Singh again wrote back, remarking that it would be possible for Congress to send the buses only by 5 pm on Tuesday. Meanwhile, UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh revealed that many two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws, and good carriers were in the list of buses submitted by the Congress party. He called upon Congress president Sonia Gandhi to explain why they were committing this "fraud".