The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday accepted Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s proposal to deploy 1,000 buses to bring in migrant workers stuck at the state border, ANI reported. Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi wrote to Gandhi and asked her to provide details of the 1,000 buses and their drivers without delay.
Awasthi’s letter came hours after Gandhi tweeted a video of thousands of migrant workers assembled at Ram Leela Maidan in Ghaziabad wanting to return home. “The UP government cannot manage anything,” she tweeted. “If they would have made proper arrangements a month ago, the migrants would not have had to face the hardship. Yesterday we proposed to deploy 1,000 buses and brought them at the UP border. But we were not allowed. Neither the government is helping the migrants nor is it allowing others to help them.”
Chief Minister Adityanath, however, said that the migrant workers will be able to enter the state if the Congress provides a list of them. “We have already told them that the list should be provided to us, so that we are assured that all the migrants are from Uttar Pradesh and we can safely take them to their respective destinations,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “We would be happy to do so, but in the last three days, we have not got any list of the buses.”
But later in the evening, Gandhi tweeted thanking Adityanath for allowing the buses to enter Uttar Pradesh. She also assured Adityanath on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Congress that the party will stand firm with those affected due to the current situation.
Uttar Pradesh has so far reported 4,259 cases of Covid-19, including 104 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown has now been extended to May 31, with some relaxations.
Following the first announcement of the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers set out on foot to their villages. However, they were stopped at state borders, which had been sealed. On May 1, the Centre announced over 300 “Shramik Special” trains to ferry migrants to their hometowns.
In spite of this, many migrants have continued to travel home on foot or in vehicles. Some have died of sickness or in accidents along the way. Some are still stuck at state borders.