Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to explain the basis of his claim that migrant workers who were returning from big cities such as Delhi were responsible for the rise in coronavirus infections in his state.
Adityanath, in a live video clip streamed on Facebook, claimed that 75% of workers who returned from Mumbai and 50% percent who came back from Delhi were infected with Covid-19, according to News18.
The chief minister said the geography of Uttar Pradesh is such that migrants from other states who were returning to their native place first have to pass through his state. “Cases of widespread infection have been reported in 25% to 30% migrants coming from other states,” Adityanath added. “This is a challenge for us and all our teams are strongly working on it. Over 75,000 medical teams are working in the entire state.”
Gandhi attacked Adityanath for making unfounded claims. The Congress leader shared a video clip of the chief minister’s statement on Twitter, demanding to know the basis of his remarks.
“Does the chief minister mean to say that over 10 lakh people in Uttar Pradesh are infected by corona[virus]?” she asked. “However, his government’s figures tell that there are 6,228 infection cases. What is the basis of infection statistics...and if this is the case, then why so less number of tests are being conducted?”
Uttar Pradesh has reported 6, 532 coronavirus cases with 165 deaths as of Tuesday, according to health ministry’s figures.
Gandhi said that if there is any truth to Adityanath’s statement, then the government should share the data pertaining to testing and spread of infection with the public in a transparent manner. “And also tell us what is the preparation [made by the government] to control the infection,” she added.
Last week, the Adityanath-led government and the Congress had wrangled over the transportation arrangements for stranded migrant workers in the state. This began with Priyanka Gandhi’s Vadra’s offer to provide 1,000 buses to the state government.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma accused the Congress of indulging in a “political stunt” and claimed that it was found that around 460 vehicles submitted in the list by the Congress were bogus. Hundreds of buses massed by the Congress on Uttar Pradesh’s border with Rajasthan were turned back.
Tensions escalated after Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President Ajay Kumar Lallu was arrested for protesting on the Bharatpur-Agra highway against the Uttar Pradesh government’s allegations that the list of buses provided by the Congress contained registration numbers of auto rickshaws and cars. A video shared by Congress leader Nadeem Javed showed four police officers carrying Lallu to their car. He was granted bail on Wednesday by a court in Agra. However, hours later, he was arrested again in Lucknow in connection with another case relating to the buses, PTI reported.